Pelosi accuses Trump of outing trip to Afghanistan

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday said President Trump revealed that she and other lawmakers would be making a trip to Afghanistan on a commercial flight, a revelation that made it too dangerous to go forward with the trip.

The White House quickly said it was not behind the leak, and accused Pelosi of lying.

“We weren’t going to go because we had a report from Afghanistan that the president outing our trip had made the scene on the ground much more dangerous because it’s a signal to bad actors that we were coming,” Pelosi told reporters.

{mosads}The Speaker described the leak as a shocking break in protocol, saying it was standard for such trips to be kept quiet given the inherent dangers of the trip.

Pelosi, who as Speaker is second in line to succeed the president, also underlined that this congressional delegation included several senior lawmakers and panel chairmen, making it a high-profile target.

The White House said other parties must have leaked the information, suggesting it was becoming widely known.

“When the Speaker of the House and about 20 others from Capitol Hill decide to book their own commercial flights to Afghanistan, the world is going to find out,” a senior White House official said, according to a White House pool report. “The idea we would leak anything that would put the safety and security of any American at risk is a flat-out lie.”

Pelosi said Trump’s “inexperience” may have led him to leak the information, but she said his staff should have been aware of the dangers and that the revelation posed “a danger not only to us but to other people.”

“We never give advance notice of going into a battle area — we just never do,” she said. “Perhaps the president’s inexperience didn’t have him understand that protocol — people around him, though, should have known that because that’s very dangerous.”

She said she was told by the State Department that they believed there was a heightened risk in making the trip.

The back-and-forth is the latest turn in an increasingly nasty fight over the government shutdown between Trump and Pelosi.

Trump on Thursday prevented Pelosi or any other members of Congress from going on congressional delegation trips abroad with military transport. His move appeared to be in response to Pelosi’s decision to ask Trump to delay his Jan. 29 State of the Union address given what she said were security concerns related to the shutdown.

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