Jan 18, 2019

Pelosi postpones overseas trip after alleged leak

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office announced today they are postponing her 7-day trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan after learning "the Administration had leaked the commercial travel plans," according to a statement.

Why it matters: By leaking even more information about this trip — after Pelosi aides had previously asked news organizations not to publicly report the details due to national security concerns — her office said going ahead with the visit would "further endanger our troops and security personnel, or the other travelers on the flights."

How we got here: Pelosi sent Trump a letter on Wednesday asking him to delay his State of the Union address until the government shutdown is over, citing security concerns. Yesterday, Trump used that same reasoning to inform Pelosi that he will postpone her planned overseas trip.

"Due to the shutdown, 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. ... Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative."

The full statement, from Pelosi's deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill:

“The United States Congress is a co-equal branch of government in our system of checks and balances.  The Congress has a constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight in the war zone where our men and women in uniform are risking their lives every day," Hammill said.  "After President Trump revoked the use of military aircraft to travel to Afghanistan, the delegation was prepared to fly commercially to proceed with this vital trip to meet with our commanders and troops on the front lines."

“In the middle of the night, the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service provided an updated threat assessment detailing that the President announcing this sensitive travel had significantly increased the danger to the delegation and to the troops, security, and other officials supporting the trip," continued Hammill.  "This morning, we learned that the Administration had leaked the commercial travel plans as well."

“In light of the grave threats caused by the President’s action, the delegation has decided to postpone the trip so as not to further endanger our troops and security personnel, or the other travelers on the flights," said Hammill.  "Whether here or abroad, the Speaker always thanks our troops, diplomats and intelligence community for their heroism and service.  The Speaker commends her colleagues on the delegation, who personally and officially have dedicated their lives to protect and defend the American people.”

Go deeper: The Donald and Nancy show

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 859,556 — Total deaths: 42,332 — Total recoveries: 178,300.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 189,510 — Total deaths: 4,076 — Total recoveries: 7,109.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. Coronavirus in custody: Inmates in all U.S. federal prisons are set to enter a 14-day quarantine on April 1. A federal judge on Tuesday ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release 10 detained immigrants who are at risk of contracting COVID-19 while in confinement.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll tops 4,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 4,000 people in the U.S. — with over 1,000 deaths reported in New York City alone, per Johns Hopkins data. The number of deaths are still much lower than those reported in Italy, Spain and China.

Of note: Hours earlier, President Trump noted it's "going to be a very painful two weeks," with projections indicating the novel coronavirus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place. "They are going to be facing a war zone," he said of medical workers.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 49 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: UN warns of recession with "no parallel" to recent past

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 858,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 Tuesday night, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health