The Trump administration has barred US lawmakers from traveling on any government-owned and operated aircraft without explicit written approval from the White House chief of staff.
ABC News tweeted a copy of the memo, which was released by Office of Management and Budget acting director Russell T. Vought.
Acting OMB chief sends memo stating that “under no circumstances” during a shutdown should government aircraft be used to support a congressional delegation “without the express written approval of the White House Chief of Staff.”
Earlier, President Trump took to Twitter, attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats for trying to take “a seven day excursion” abroad while 800,000 federal employees go unpaid due to the shutdown. and here’s what Trump’s letter stated:
“Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed,” Trump said in a curt letter. “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,” Trump added.
Also on Friday, Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Congresswoman Pelosi, said that in addition to blocking use of the military plane, the White House had also leaked the delegation’s plans to fly commercially, thus scuttling the trip.
The White House defended the decision, accusing Pelosi’s staff of ‘flat out lying.’