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Pelosi defends vacation, jabs at Trump: Maybe he doesn't realize Hawaii is in US

Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiAgainst mounting odds, Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan Charles Booker launches exploratory committee to consider challenge to Rand Paul Top academics slam Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act MORE (D-Calif.) defended her vacation to Hawaii during the government shutdown, taking a jab at President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Romney on NRSC awarding Trump: Not 'my preference' McConnell sidesteps Trump calling him 'dumb son of a b----' MORE on the day she is set to be elected House Speaker. 

In an interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie on "Today," Pelosi said that maybe Trump “doesn’t realize” Hawaii is in the U.S. and that she would have been easily able to return to Washington if necessary.

“The president may not know this, but Hawaii is part of the United States of America; maybe he doesn’t realize that,” she said. “That’s why he said Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHow Democrats can defy the odds in 2022 Biden is thinking about building that wall — and that's a good thing White House races clock to beat GOP attacks MORE wasn’t born in the United States when he was born in Hawaii.”

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“Hawaii has airports and airlines and telephones, so the communication is good,” she said.

Pelosi defended the trip, saying that she observed the Christmas holiday, and that the shutdown actually “cut in half” her time with family.

The House minority leader said that Democratic House leadership “stood ready” to give members 24 hours notice if they had to return to Washington for a vote on a spending bill.

Trump and Democrats have continually blamed each other for the shutdown, which started nearly two weeks ago over Trump’s demands for funding for a border wall.

Trump, who stayed in Washington over Christmas, criticized Democrats for vacationing during the shutdown, even though members of both parties left Washington for the holiday. Over the holiday, Trump tweeted that he was "all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal."

White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Let's make a deal on infrastructure, taxes The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Pence sets the stage for 2024 Biden's is not a leaky ship of state — not yet MORE also took a jab directly at Pelosi's Hawaii trip, saying: "Less hula, more moola for the [Department of Homeland Security] and Customs and Border Patrol."

The new Congress will be sworn in on Thursday, handing power back to the Democrats, and negotiations are expected to continue over a bill to end the shutdown.