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Lindsey Graham slams Pelosi-Trump feud: ‘One sophomoric response does not deserve another’

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 1/17/2019 Caitlin Yilek
Lindsey Graham wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Thursday expressed disappointment in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Trump amid a tit-for-tat standoff over the partial government shutdown.

Trump canceled a planned congressional delegation trip, led by Pelosi, to Afghanistan, via Brussels, a day after the California Democrat threatened to scrap the president’s State of the Union address later this month.

“One sophomoric response does not deserve another. Speaker Pelosi’s threat to cancel the State of the Union is very irresponsible and blatantly political. President Trump denying Speaker Pelosi military travel to visit our troops in Afghanistan, our allies in Egypt and NATO is also inappropriate,” Graham, R-S.C., said in a statement.

Trump informed Pelosi on Thursday afternoon that she would be unable to use a government or military plane to travel overseas. He suggested she fly commercial if she still wanted to make the trip.

"Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed," Trump wrote. "We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over."

“In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate,” Trump said. “I also feel that, during this period, it would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me and joining the Strong Border Security movement to end the shutdown. Obviously, if you would like to make your journey flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.”

The move followed Pelosi’s letter to Trump on Wednesday that threw the Jan. 29 State of the Union into doubt. Pelosi claimed the Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service are not prepared to ensure the safety of top government officials, who will all be in the Capitol during the address, because employees are working unpaid during the partial government shutdown.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pushed back on Pelosi’s argument, saying both agencies are equipped to do their jobs regardless of whether employees are being paid or not.

“I wish our political leadership could find the same desire to work for common goals as those who serve our nation in uniform and other capacities,” Graham’s statement said.


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