Afghanistan

Trump: ‘Major announcement’ on border security coming Saturday
Focus to be on ‘humanitarian crisis’ and the government shutdown

President Donald Trump is tweeting that a “major announcement” on border security is coming on Saturday. Here he is  flanked from left by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.., and Vice President Mike Pence . (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump will make a “major announcement” Saturday about border security on what by then will be the 29th day of the partial government shutdown.

Three minutes after the White House call a “lid” Friday night and reporters headed for the gate, the president fired off a tweet, saying his remarks will focus on “the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown, tomorrow afternoon at 3 P.M., live from the @WhiteHouse.”

Trump vs. Pelosi: 5 takeaways from their tit-for-tat as shutdown plods on
Nixing Afghanistan trip also was a direct blow to House Dems’ oversight plans

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and President Donald Trump have continued trading barbs in recent days. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump continued their high-stakes game of tit-for-tat Friday, even as the 28-day partial government shutdown plodded on with no signs of any restart of negotiations. 

White House aides scurried about Friday, initially declining to directly address a bombshell report that Trump directed former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. (Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later called the story “categorically false.”)

Pelosi spokesman says White House leaked commercial travel plans to Afghanistan
Alternate plan was canceled after State Department warned against it

A bus is seen of the East Front of the Capitol after members of the House disembarked, after an overseas CODEL was postponed by President Trump on Thursday, January 17, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The shutdown feud between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump escalated Friday after the California Democrat’s office revealed it had made commercial travel arrangements to continue an Afghanistan trip the president tried to cancel — but the administration leaked their plans.

There was already a security risk with the speaker and her congressional delegation continuing the overseas troop visit after Trump announced Thursday where they’d be going. But the heightened threat from Trump leaking the commercial travel plans led the delegation to call off the trip for now, a Pelosi spokesman said.

No Trump-Pelosi talks planned as explosive report complicates shutdown endgame
Report: President directed Michael Cohen to lie about Moscow Trump Tower project

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive at the Capitol to meet with Senate Republicans on Jan. 9. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:45 p.m. | There are no shutdown talks with Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Donald Trump’s Friday schedule and no invitations for any have been extended, even as White House aides claim the president put the kibosh on her Afghanistan trip in part to keep her on U.S. soil to cut a deal.

What’s more, an explosive report that Trump directed his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie during testimony to Congress likely will only drive the White House and Democrats further apart, making a border security deal needed to reopen the government even harder as Washington becomes increasingly toxic.

When life gives you shutdowns
But hey, at least the U.S. isn’t hurtling toward Brexit

Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is seen on a bus Thursday, before being dropped at the Rayburn Building after President Donald Trump canceled military support for an overseas congressional trip Engel and other lawmakers were scheduled to take. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s Week Four of the partial government shutdown. About 800,000 people have missed paychecks, and a lot of them are working for free at the behest of the executive branch. There is no end in sight. The State of the Union is canceled, kind of. The president tells you to cancel your military flight, but you can go ahead and fly commercial — after all, TSA is working for no money. And the only silver lining seems to be: At least we’re not Britain! 

You’re on the bus. You’re headed to the airport — and the president of the United States puts the kibosh on your trip to Afghanistan. Who hasn’t had that happen? When the commander in chief yanks military support for a dangerous trip to a war zone by someone in the presidential line of succession. 

Trump abruptly cancels military support for Pelosi overseas trip
Treasury delegation‘s Davos trip is also off

Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is seen on a bus originally scheduled to take a congressional delegation to their flight for an overseas trip. Minutes earlier, President Donald Trump had postponed all congressional trips, so Engel was subsequently dropped at the Rayburn Building. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 7:33 p.m. | In apparent retaliation to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plea that President Donald Trump delay his State of the Union address due to the government shutdown, Trump has canceled all military support for a previously unannounced congressional delegation trip the speaker was scheduled to take.

“Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over,” Trump wrote in a letter to Pelosi.

Armed Services experience is ‘in’ for 2020 presidential
Gillibrand, Warren and Gabbard will play up their national security cred as they vie to be commander in chief

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard greets veteran Celestino Almeda in 2017. The Hawaii congresswoman is one of three sitting Armed Services members eyeing the presidency. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Three sitting members of Congress who have announced plans to seek the presidency in 2020 have a few things in common: they’re all Democrats, they’re all women, and they all sit on their respective chamber’s Armed Services committee.

To date, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand have formed committees to explore a challenge to President Donald Trump in 2020, while Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has officially launched her presidential campaign.

Ailing Rep. Walter Jones in rehab for a broken hip, will miss more votes
Jones was sworn into the new Congress earlier this month at his home in Farmville, North Carolina

Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., suggested last week that President Donald Trump should consider paying for the wall with some of his own money. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Walter Jones underwent surgery for a broken hip Tuesday, amid reports that the North Carolina Republican is coping with mounting health problems.

Jones received care at the Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, North Carolina, after he sustained a broken hip at his Farmville home on Monday, a spokesman said.

Ailing Rep. Walter Jones to have private swearing-in ceremony
NC Republican has been sidelined since September but has shared few details about his health

Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., has missed votes since September. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Walter Jones will be sworn into the new session of Congress privately at his home in Farmville, North Carolina, because he could not be in Washington this week due to an unspecified illness.

“Congressman Jones has been dealing with a medical issue and will be sworn in today,” spokesman Joshua Bowlen said.

GOP Rep. Walter Jones Suggests Trump Pay for Part of His Wall
‘The president might consider pledging some of his own funds’ If Mexico won’t pay, Jones says

Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., suggested last week that President Donald Trump should consider paying for the wall with some of his own money. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Walter Jones is worried that President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall will add to the federal debt — so worried, in fact, that he’s proposing the president pony up some of his own money for the wall.

“If Mexico isn’t going to be made to pay for a wall, that means funds must be found internally,” the North Carolina Republican said in a statement Friday.