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Feuding Trump grounds Democratic speaker's foreign travel
[WASHINGTON] President Donald Trump clipped the wings of Democratic party leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday, scrapping her foreign travel plans in a new twist to the government shutdown feud.
Mr Pelosi had suggested postponing Trump's January 29 State of the Union address to Congress. Although she cited the shutdown's effect on security, she appeared to want to deny the president one of his chief annual moments in the limelight.
In a letter laced with sarcasm and accompanied by his dramatic signature, Mr Trump responded in kind.
"I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over," he wrote. "I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is appropriate."
Rubbing it in, Mr Trump said that Ms Pelosi could still book her own non-government flights.
"Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative," he wrote.
The personal feud between Mr Trump and Ms Pelosi is just one facet of a political crisis sparked by the Democrats' refusal to approve funding for a Trump project to build more walls along the US-Mexican border.
In an attempt to pressure Congress, Mr Trump has refused to authorise funding for swaths of the government, leaving some 800,000 federal employees and many more government contractors without pay for nearly a month.
The government shutdown is leaving an increasingly deep impact across the country, where FBI agents, museum workers, Coast Guard personnel and other officials are either not at work or having to work for nothing.
The Democrats and the White House blame each other for the impasse, with neither side showing any sign of backing down soon.