Trump taunts Pelosi: I’m giving my SOTU in the House
The president says his speech should be ‘delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!’
By REBECCA MORIN
President Donald Trump on Wednesday rejected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request to delay his State of the Union speech until after the government shutdown ends, intensifying the brinkmanship between the two leaders.
“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!” Trump wrote in the letter.
Pelosi last Wednesday sent a letter asking Trump to postpone his Jan. 29 speech or deliver it in writing, saying the shutdown has hobbled both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security and could harm the security planning process.
“Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th,” Pelosi wrote in a letter last week.
But on Wednesday, Trump rejected Pelosi’s explanation and said he has been contacted by DHS and Secret Service officials who said “there would be absolutely no problem regarding security with respect to the event.”
“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 our Union,” Trump wrote.
The White House and Democratic leaders have failed to make any meaningful headway in ending the shutdown, which has stretched into its 33rd day and is the longest in U.S. history. Trump has refused to back down from his demand for $5.7 billion for border wall funds, and Democrats have so far not budged in their refusal to appropriate the funds.
Trump’s letter on Wednesday is the latest salvo in his standoff with Pelosi. Following the speaker’s speech delay request last week, Trump appeared to retaliate by refusing to allow her to use a military plane for a congressional delegation to Afghanistan to meet with troops.
The president’s letter comes several days after he tweeted that “there are so many options” to still deliver a State of the Union address. However, he also teased that he may follow through on Pelosi’s initial invitation to deliver the address on Capitol Hill.
“While a contract is a contract, I’ll get back to you soon!” Trump tweeted Sunday.