This Is What Happens When Trump Has 24 Hours to Work on a Comeback

Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi.
Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump (and Mike Pence). Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump is continuing to handle the partial government shutdown with his characteristic tact and maturity: Over 24 hours after receiving a letter from Nancy Pelosi urging him to reschedule the State of the Union due to “security concerns,” he hit back with a letter of his own: using erratic capitalization and an excessively large signature, he told Pelosi he was canceling her upcoming trip abroad.

The public letter-exchanging kicked off on Wednesday, when Pelosi informed the president that he should reschedule his planned January 29 address to the country, citing security issues arising from the fact that the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security have gone without funding. Otherwise, she suggested, Trump could simply submit his speech in writing to Congress — or, she told reporters, maybe he could just give the speech from the Oval Office, whatever.

While many of us expected Trump to immediately fire back at Pelosi through his favorite medium (inane tweets), he instead appeared to take his time formulating his response. In fact, according to CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Trump and his team didn’t see Pelosi’s letter coming — and White House officials, including Trump’s new chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, only started formulating a retort Thursday morning. And as the president had reportedly been upset that coverage of Pelosi’s letter made it look like the Democrats had the upper hand, both he and his aides somehow apparently decided this petulant note was the best response.

The trip he cancelled — a “codel” (or “congressional delegation”) to Brussels and Afghanistan — was reportedly going to utilize a military aircraft (which is why, according to a White House official, he even had the power to cancel the journey). So, for petty measure, Trump noted that Pelosi could still “make her journey by flying commercial,” if that happens to be her “prerogative.”

We can only imagine what Trump would have done had he waited 48 hours to reply …

What Happens When Trump Has 24 Hours to Work on a Comeback