House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced Friday that she is postponing her trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan in light of President Donald Trump’s move to ground her flight after her request to delay the State of the Union.
Although Pelosi had planned to fly commercially to proceed with the trip to meet with commanders and troops abroad, Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill said that “the grave threats caused by the President’s action” led to the delegation’s decision to postpone the trip “so as not to further endanger our troops and security personnel, or the other travelers on the flights.”
Hammill also said the delegation learned Friday morning that the Trump administration “leaked the commercial travel plans” as well.
The White House responded to the accusation Friday by saying that the idea of them leaking “anything that would put the safety and security of any American at risk is a flat out lie,” according to the Associated Press.
WH responds to Pelosi: "The idea we would leak anything that would put the safety and security of any American at risk is a flat out lie."
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) January 18, 2019
Read Hammill’s full statement below:
“The United States Congress is a co-equal branch of government in our system of checks and balances. The Congress has a constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight in the war zone where our men and women in uniform are risking their lives every day,” Hammill said. “After President Trump revoked the use of military aircraft to travel to Afghanistan, the delegation was prepared to fly commercially to proceed with this vital trip to meet with our commanders and troops on the front lines.”
“In the middle of the night, the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service provided an updated threat assessment detailing that the President announcing this sensitive travel had significantly increased the danger to the delegation and to the troops, security, and other officials supporting the trip,” continued Hammill. “This morning, we learned that the Administration had leaked the commercial travel plans as well.”
“In light of the grave threats caused by the President’s action, the delegation has decided to postpone the trip so as not to further endanger our troops and security personnel, or the other travelers on the flights,” said Hammill. “Whether here or abroad, the Speaker always thanks our troops, diplomats and intelligence community for their heroism and service. The Speaker commends her colleagues on the delegation, who personally and officially have dedicated their lives to protect and defend the American people.”