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

Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Democrats bicker over strategy on impeachment Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul MORE (D-Calif.) defended her vacation to Hawaii during the government shutdown, taking a jab at President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report 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 ObamaMost voters say there is too much turnover in Trump administration Trump's 'soldier of fortune' foreign policy Warren picks up key endorsement from Iowa state treasurer 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 ConwayObama, Bush among those paying tribute to Cokie Roberts: 'A trailblazing figure' Journalists, political heavyweights pay respects to Cokie Roberts: 'A pioneer for so many' Iran's supreme leader rules out talks with US at all levels 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.