Pelosi faces tough decision with Trump | TheHill

After a nasty tit-for-tat with President Trump over the shutdown this week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) faces a delicate decision: whether to rescind her invitation for Trump’s State of the Union speech later this month.

Such a move could deny Trump a huge megaphone to tout his border wall amid the ongoing budget impasse, but would also inflame tensions between the sniping power brokers and complicate bipartisan efforts to end the longest government closure in the nation’s history.

Upon taking the gavel at the start of the year, Pelosi had invited Trump to give the address on Jan. 29 — an annual event, draped in pageantry and tradition, that provides the president an enormous platform to promote his agenda for the coming year.

On Wednesday, day 26 of the history-making shutdown,  Pelosi took the remarkable step of asking Trump to delay the address until the government is fully funded. Yet she did not go so far as to disinvite him, instead suggesting that, “unless government reopens this week,” the pair “work together to determine another suitable date.”

On Friday, Pelosi amplified that message.

“He’s been invited,” she told reporters in the Capitol. “All we said is, ‘Let’s work together for another date when government is open.’ ”

Yet Trump has not responded directly to Pelosi’s entreaty. Instead, he escalated the feud on Thursday when he blocked a trip Pelosi and several other Democrats had planned to visit U.S. troops in Afghanistan by denying them access to military aircraft.

The squabbling intensified even further on Friday when Pelosi, who had quietly rescheduled the fact-finding trip on commercial flights, abruptly canceled that back-up plan — citing security concerns — after she said the White House leaked the news of their travel.

Pelosi characterized the leak as dangerous breach of convention, warning that broadcasting travel by political figures into war zones heightens the risk of attack.

“We never give advance notice of going into a battle area — we just never do,” Pelosi said. “Perhaps the president’s inexperience didn’t have him understand that protocol. People around him, though, should have known that because that’s very dangerous.”

The remarkable back-and-forth highlights the extent to which the debate over how to reopen the government — an impasse hinging on funding for Trump’s promised border wall — has deteriorated from a budget negotiation into a barroom brawl


Source: Pelosi faces tough decision with Trump | TheHill

Five takeaways from Trump’s Oval Office address | TheHill

President Trump delivered the first Oval Office address of his White House tenure on Tuesday evening, amid an ongoing shutdown battle with Democrats over his proposed border wall.

What were the main takeaways?

Trump did not shift the debate

Some people close to the president had argued that a primetime televised address would be one way — perhaps the only way — to change the contours of the debate over the shutdown.

That view implicitly recognizes that the White House is on the back foot, with little leverage and with Democrats feeling no serious pressure to compromise.

Nothing Trump said changed that.

Instead, he mostly rehashed arguments that he has already made on Twitter or at recent news conferences. He argued that the situation on the southern border had reached crisis proportions and alleged that Democrats were unconcerned about border security.


Source: Five takeaways from Trump’s Oval Office address | TheHill