SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: "I would say this.
The State of the Union speech has been cancelled by Nancy Pelosi, because she doesn't want to hear the truth." President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he would find another venue to deliver the annual State of the Union address after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told him he was no longer invited to use the House chamber due to the government shutdown.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: ”So we just found out that she's cancelled it and I think that's a great blotch on the incredible country that we all love." The president found himself outmaneuvered - for now - in an exchange of letters with the Democratic House leader.
Trump on Wednesday wrote to Pelosi saying he looked forward to seeing her in the House of Representatives next week, adding, "it would be very sad for out Country in the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!" Pelosi returned an unequivocal reply: The House would not vote on a resolution to host the State of the Union until a partial government shutdown is resolved.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: “We do not support the president holding the health, safety, and paychecks of the American people hostage to a campaign applause line.
It's an unprecedented MOVE and a brazen assertion of congressional power, in the midst of a record-long government shutdown.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: “I don't believe it's ever happened before, and it's always good to be part of history, but this is a very negative part of history.
Pelosi last week said hosting the sizable event in House chamber would be an undue hardship on the agents of the Secret Service, who are working without pay.
She suggested rescheduling the address.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: “This date of the State of the Union is not a sacred date, it's not constitutional required, it's not the president's birthday, it's not anything...it's a date we agreed to...it could've been a week later." Trump last week denied Pelosi the use of military aircraft for a trip to meet troops in Afghanistan just before she was set to depart.
The White House said the move was unrelated to the State of the Union standoff, but the administration derided Pelosi's justifications for delaying the speech.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY SARAH SANDERS, SAYING: (TUESDAY) "She cited security concerns as a potential reason to delay it.
Those concerns were addressed by the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Secret Service.
And at this point we are moving forward." But the White House must now find another avenue for the event.
The president could deliver the speech at a campaign rally, or as an Oval Office address.