I can’t believe we had to wait almost 24 hours for her to reply to yesterday’s White House letter. We live in the Netflix era. We should be able to binge-watch every episode of this pitiful melodrama in a day.
“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,” [Pelosi spokesman Drew] Hammill said.
Overnight, he added, a new State Department threat assessment indicated “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. . . . This morning, we learned that the Administration had leaked the commercial travel plans as well.”
They leaked the commercial travel plans too? To whom? That’s a serious allegation, all but accusing the White House of having deliberately created a security risk to Pelosi to deter him from making it to the region on her own. Who did that? Name names.
Hammill’s not referring to this, is he?
There’s nothing in there to suggest that she still intended to travel, just Trump acknowledging that she planned to do so before he revoked her military aircraft.
The White House says Hammill’s full of it:
A WH official calls it "a flat out lie" that the admin leaked details of Pelosi's commercial travel last night, as her spox claims. There doesn't appear to be evidence that those specific plans were leaked, though Trump did announce the trip and encourage her to fly commercial.
— Sarah Westwood (@sarahcwestwood) January 18, 2019
Not so, says Hammill:
Multiple admin sources were telling Hill reporters early this morning that the Speaker Pelosi delegation was flying commercially https://t.co/hf9c6N0NqP
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) January 18, 2019
Pelosi’s chief of staff worked with a liaison from the U.S. Air Force who was the lead in setting up travel arrangements and the itinerary for the trip. Senior officials at the Pentagon also had been read in on the speaker’s plans, especially those regarding her visit to war-torn Afghanistan, where extra security was needed for her time in Kabul. Two senior officials on the ground in Afghanistan said they received the itinerary for the trip, as they do other congressional trips, weeks in advance and held it close to the chest. Fellow members of Congress made similar accommodations as they prepared to accompany the Speaker on the CODEL…
“We’re still gathering information just like you,” one Pentagon official told The Daily Beast [on Thursday afternoon]. “We are trying to figure out what is going on.” One other source inside the Pentagon said that the White House had not coordinated with senior officials in Kabul about the cancellation, either.
Pelosi threw a tantrum and told Trump not to show for the State of the Union so Trump threw a tantrum by canceling her Afghanistan trip, with the military left holding the bag. It can’t be overstated what pure trash our political class is. To grasp it, just ruminate on the fact that we’re on Day 28 of the shutdown, hardship stories are getting more dire and widespread, the disagreement is over nothing greater than a $5 billion outlay, and somehow … there are no meaningful negotiations at all happening to resolve the standoff. Five-hundred-plus people in the House and Senate and to a man or woman they’re either too partisan or too afraid of their respective bases to compromise to break the logjam. Rank human garbage.