Fight and flight: Donald Trump-Nancy Pelosi row grounds tour to war zone

Updated: Jan 19, 2019, 09:05 IST | Agencies

It was the latest twist in what has become a Washington game of brinkmanship between Pelosi and Trump, playing out against the stalled negotiations over how to end the partial government shutdown

Fight and flight: Donald Trump-Nancy Pelosi row grounds tour to war zone
Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi. Pics/AFP

Washington: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday cancelled her plans to travel by commercial plane to visit US troops in Afghanistan, saying President Donald Trump had caused a security risk by talking about the trip. It was the latest twist in what has become a Washington game of brinkmanship between Pelosi and Trump, playing out against the stalled negotiations over how to end the partial government shutdown.

Earlier in the week, Pelosi had asked Trump to reschedule his State of the Union address, citing security issues at a time when the Homeland Security Department and other agencies remain unfunded. Trump responded by cancelling the military plane that was to have carried Pelosi and a congressional delegation to Afghanistan on the previously undisclosed troop visit. Trump suggested she travel by commercial plane instead.

Trump had belittled the trip as a "public relations event" even though he had just made a similar warzone stop and said it would be best if Pelosi remained in Washington to negotiate to reopen the government. "Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative," wrote Trump. On Friday, Pelosi announced that her plan to travel by commercial plane had been "leaked" by the White House.

Spokesman Drew Hammill said Pelosi and accompanying lawmakers were prepared to take a commercial flight but cancelled after the State Department warned that publicity over the visit had "significantly increased the danger to the delegation and to the troops, security, and other officials supporting the trip."

Davos cancelled too
Trump also cancelled the US delegation's trip to the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, due to the partial government shutdown. "Out of consideration for the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay.. President Trump has cancelled his delegation's trip," said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

PIO may enter Trump advisory committee
Trump has announced his intent to appoint Indian-American financial expert Prem Parameswaran to a key presidential advisory committee. He is the only Indian-American among the 12 members Trump intends to appoint to the Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

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