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

Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats hammer abuse of power charge, allege Trump put self over country Overnight Energy: Trump issues rule replacing Obama-era waterway protections | Pelosi slams new rule as 'an outrageous assault' | Trump water policy exposes sharp divides Pelosi slams Trump administration's new water rule: 'An outrageous assault' MORE (D-Calif.) defended her vacation to Hawaii during the government shutdown, taking a jab at President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation 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 ObamaFormer NYT correspondent rips Democrats' 'selective use' of constitutional violations Obama portraits leaving National Portrait Gallery to tour museums across the country Tulsi Gabbard explains decision to sue Hillary Clinton: 'They can do it to anybody' 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 ConwayKellyanne Conway knocks Biden, talks up Sanders in Wash Post op-ed Democrats sharpen case on second day of arguments 'Emotion' from Trump's legal team wins presidential plaudits 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.