The Trump Campaign Used Nancy Pelosi's State Of The Union Letter To Raise Money
On Thursday evening, Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, shared an email from the Trump Campaign which used Nancy Pelosi's State of the Union letter as a means to raise money for his 2020 aspirations. The email, which included the subject line "I'm disinvited?," lamented that Democrats had "legitimately disinvited" him from making his scheduled annual speech to Congress. Then it went on to ask for "emergency contributions," with a goal of raising $1,000,000 by midnight.
According to a screenshot, the email read in part,
It's clear that Nancy Pelosi would rather ignore our American Constitution than allow me to speak directly to YOU...the reason for all of this liberal hysteria is because they are finally being exposed for hiding the truth for DECADES, Friend. Americans DEMAND the truth truth, so we need to make a CLEAR STATEMENT and raise $1,000,000 by Midnight TONIGHT to show your support for Border Security (the REAL security concern).
Trump's email comes a day after Pelosi sent him a letter asking him to either move the date of his State of the Union address or to submit his speech as a written letter to Congress. Per The New York Times, Pelosi wrote in part, "Since the start of modern budgeting in Fiscal Year 1977, a State of the Union address has never been delivered during a government shutdown." As The Hill notes, Pelosi did not explicitly forbid or disinvite Trump from giving the State of the Union address, as his campaign suggests in the email.
On Thursday, whether coincidentally or not, Trump announced that he was putting Pelosi's congressional delegation trip to Egypt, Afghanistan, and Brussels on hold. In his letter informing her of the postponement, Trump wrote,
We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the shutdown is over. I also feel that, during this period, it would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me and joining the Strong Border Security movement to end the shutdown.
Trump added in the letter that, "obviously," Pelosi still had the option of flying commercial, if she chose to move forward with the trip.
In an email explaining POTUS' decision to postpone Pelosi's trip, Sanders said to The Hill, “If she had gone on this trip, she would have guaranteed that 800,000 federal workers would not receive their second paycheck because she would not have been here to negotiate any kind of deal."
As of now, the White House has not confirmed whether the State of the Union will continue as planned on Tuesday, Jan. 29. If the government is still shuttered by that point, that will mark day 39 of the shutdown.
As Politico notes, the ongoing battle over border wall funding has frozen into a virtual stalemate, with Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer refusing to give Trump his requested $5.7 billion, and Trump refusing to accept a bill that doesn't include that. In the meantime, many lawmakers have started to express disapproval toward the breakdown.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said to Politico of the back and forth between Pelosi and Trump, “[It's] Pretty foul. Too much childishness. Not enough seriousness.”