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Trump refuses Pelosi’s delay request, says State of Union to proceed as planned

President Donald Trump (R) argues about border security with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as Vice President Mike Pence (C) sits nearby in the Oval Office on December 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images/TNS)
January 23, 2019
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President Donald Trump will hold his State of the Union address next week as planned, despite a request to delay it amid the partial government shutdown from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

On Wednesday, Trump sent a letter addressed to Pelosi in which he denied security concerns raised by Pelosi, and vowed to hold his speech in the House chamber on Jan. 29 as previously scheduled.

Read the letter below:

 

President Trump’s letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the State of the Union Address, Jan. 23, 2019. (White House/Released)

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Trump acknowledged the letter Pelosi sent him on Jan. 3, in which she invited him to hold the State of the Union in the House chambers on Jan. 29.

However, she sent a second letter on Jan. 16, citing security concerns and requesting the President delay the speech.

“Even prior to asking, I was contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Secret Service to explain that there would be absolutely no problem regarding security with respect to the event. They have since confirmed this publicly,” Trump wrote in the letter to Pelosi.

“Accordingly, there are no security concerns regarding the State of the Union Address. Therefore, I will be honoring your invitation, and fulfilling my Constitutional duty, to deliver important information to the people and the Congress of the United States of America regarding the State of our Union,” he said.

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“I look forward to seeing you on the evening of January 29th in the Chamber of the House of Representatives,” Trump said in closing. “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!”

“Nancy Pelosi made the invitation to the president on the State of the Union. He accepted,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, according to the Associated Press. “At this point, we’re moving forward.”

During an appearance on Fox News, White House Spokesman Hogan Gidley said, “Nancy Pelosi does not dictate to the president when he will or will not have a conversation with the American people.”

The letter is the latest spat between Trump and Pelosi. Last week, Trump delayed Pelosi’s seven-day overseas trip due to the government shutdown by barring her from flying on a government plane.

“Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would be your prerogative,” Trump said in his Jan. 17 letter to Pelosi. That letter came just one day after Pelosi’s letter citing security concerns for delaying the State of the Union address.

Trump also tweeted directly about Pelosi’s trip, saying, “Why would Nancy Pelosi leave the Country with other Democrats on a seven day excursion when 800,000 great people are not getting paid. Also, could somebody please explain to Nancy & her “big donors” in wine country that people working on farms (grapes) will have easy access in!”

Drew Hammill, spokesperson for Pelosi, said Trump never submitted an “official acceptance of the initial invitation” sent Jan. 3 to hold the State of the Union address in the House chamber, CNN reported.

“Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak. They don’t see crime & drugs, they only see 2020 – which they are not going to win. Best economy! They should do the right thing for the Country & allow people to go back to work,” he tweeted

“Nancy Pelosi has behaved so irrationally & has gone so far to the left that she has now officially become a Radical Democrat. She is so petrified of the “lefties” in her party that she has lost control…And by the way, clean up the streets in San Francisco, they are disgusting!” he said in a second tweet.

“Nancy, I am still thinking about the State of the Union speech, there are so many options – including doing it as per your written offer (made during the Shutdown, security is no problem), and my written acceptance. While a contract is a contract, I’ll get back to you soon!” he said in a final tweet.

On Jan. 15, Trump also tweeted in reference to Pelosi, saying, “Why is Nancy Pelosi getting paid when people who are working are not?”

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