A senior Democratic lawmaker has denounced as undemocratic President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Afghanistan.
Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Adam Smith slammed Trump’s decision on keeping Pelosi and other Democrats from travelling to Brussels and Afghanistan.
The Pelosi-led team was slated to meet military officials and participate in national security briefings. But Trump announced on Friday canceling the congressional delegation’s trip in light of the partial government shutdown.
Smith said in a statement: “President Trump’s attempt to deny members of Congress the ability to conduct oversight of military issues by refusing to support official travel is dangerous, and it is undemocratic.”
The public representatives must be able to gather information on the ground about military conditions, especially the safety and security of US service-members, amid a complex threat environment,” Smith said.
“If Congress is not knowledgeable and able to gather information about these conditions, it cannot respond with appropriate resources and authorities to issues that affect our security and the well-being of our service-members...”
Trump and Pelosi have sparred during the partial shutdown resulting from a dispute over border wall funding. While Trump has pushed for more than $5 billion for the project, Democrats have rejected his proposal.
Pelosi's office says she was forced to nix her Afghanistan trip after Trump barred her from using a military aircraft and she was told by the State Department diplomatic security that it was too dangerous to fly there commercially.
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill saus while the speaker and the congressional delegation were prepared to use commercial travel, the risks associated with the trip only grew after details of those plans to a war zone leaked.