After previously inviting Trump to deliver his SOTU on January 29, Pelosi last week sent him a letter calling on him to postpone or cancel his upcoming Very Big TV Moment, due to security concerns caused by his partial shutdown of the government.
And there’s the whole not-paying-the-people-who-will-protect-the-chamber thing, Pelosi added, writing, “Both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security have not been funded for 26 days now – with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs.” She suggested he deliver his speech from the Oval Office, or in writing.
Trump responded by cancelling Pelosi’s use of a military jet to fly to Afghanistan, as she and other politicians were on their way to board the jet, telling the House Speaker she was free to take a commercial flight into the war zone if she wanted.
On Wednesday, aka Government Shutdown Day 33, Trump made his next move:
“There are no security concerns regarding the State of the Union Address,” Trump wrote, having checked with his DHS yes-person Kirstjen Nielsen. “Therefore, I will be honoring your invitation and fulfilling my Constitutional duty, to deliver important information to the people and Congress of the United States of America regarding the State of the Union.”
“I look forward to seeing you on the evening on January 29th in the Chamber of the House of Representatives. It would be so very sad for our Country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule and very importantly, on location!” he chest thumped.
Despite Trump’s look-at-the-size-of-my-hands letter, the House and Senate must pass a joint resolution to allow him to speak from the hall, so he’s actually not king of this topic.
The SOTU address is, even in the best of times, considered a higher risk situation in Washington owing to the number of people in the federal government under one roof. A designated survivor, typically a cabinet member, is selected every year to sit it out at a distant, secret location while the speechifying is attended by Veep and others who are normally next in line.
Trump responded by cancelling her use of a military jet to fly to Afghanistan, as she and other politicians were on their way to board the jet, telling Pelosi she was free to take a commercial flight into the war zone.
TV news outlet feasted on the letter as they awaited Pelosi’s response: