The latest sign that Donald Trump is manifestly unfit to be president came on Thursday. He abruptly told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that if she wanted to lead a congressional delegation to visit the troops in Afghanistan, she would have to fly commercial. After all, he argued, given the shutdown, he didn’t think it was appropriate for her to use a government jet. But there was one big problem. Trump leaked travel plans that were supposed to be secret. And for good reason–you do not give advance notice that VIPs are traveling into a war zone.
Pelosi and her team–which included House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff, House Armed Services Committee chairman Adam Smith, House Veterans Affairs Committee chairman Mark Takano, and House Foreign Relations Committee chairman Eliot Engel, among others–had every intention of flying commercial. But she canceled the trip after State Department officials advised her that with her travel plans now public, the risk to the safety of lawmakers, support personnel and servicemen was simply too great.
When Pelosi met reporters on Friday, she was visibly shaken, as you’ll see here.
Pelosi said that the State Department had received a report from Afghanistan that Trump’s decision to out their travel plans “made the scene on the ground much more dangerous.” It led her to conclude that there was a greater risk that “bad actors” could not only come after them, but the people they were going to visit. She added that when Trump leaked her itinerary, it would have also endangered those flying on any commercial flight that her delegation would have taken.
If you watch Pelosi’s remarks, it’s hard not to notice how shaken she was. Any reasonable person on either side of the aisle would understand why. Pelosi has been in Congress since 1987. In her three decades in office, she has served under six presidents. A lawmaker with her experience would never expect a president, regardless of party, to be this reckless. But conservative blogger Wayne Dupree thought Pelosi was making a big fuss over nothing.
When Dupree watched Pelosi’s remarks, he saw a woman who “looked bad” in front of the press. He marveled at how Pelosi “fumbled over her words, took pauses and didn’t recover gracefully.” To his mind, Pelosi’s reaction was a sign that she and her fellow Democrats couldn’t get over the fact that Trump had “pulled the plug on their little rowboat”–and it went down “with all the Democrats in it.”
Dupree is one of the more obnoxious members of a very exclusive club–black conservatives who are still all in for Trump. He and his cronies always revel at moments when Trump owns those pointy-headed, swampy libs. Well, Wayne, had you watched Pelosi’s comments without your red-tinted blinders, you would have seen a veteran lawmaker who was understandably shaken at the thought that a president could be so cavalier with her safety and those of others.
Let’s be clear. There was no defensible reason to disclose Pelosi’s travel plans under the circumstances. And that would be true even if you accept the argument that Pelosi should have stayed in Washington. Indeed, given the risks involved, you can make a convincing argument that when Trump leaked the itinerary, it met the real-world definition of reckless endangerment.
Even allowing for the fact that Trump has little to no regard for basic norms, this is simply outrageous. Is Dupree saying that Pelosi has no right to be emotional when she learned Trump leaked her travel plans in such a reckless and irresponsible manner? It’s hard not to conclude otherwise.
Many of my longtime readers will recall that Trump became absolutely, positively dead to me when he plastered the private cell phone number of Univision’s Jorge Ramos on social media in 2015. When a presidential candidate has no qualms about revealing a private cell phone number, it’s a sign that he cannot be trusted with keeping information secret. It’s a sign that he has no regard for the safety of others.
And if Dupree thinks Pelosi has no right to be upset over such outrageous and reckless behavior, it’s a sign that he, like his dear one, is entirely lacking in basic decency or empathy.
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