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The revealing words Trump said about Pelosi's trip

David Axelrod talked with former Secretary of State and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, John Kerry, about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's claim that the age of American shame is over.

Posted: Jan 19, 2019 6:10 AM
Updated: Jan 19, 2019 6:10 AM

I can almost understand President Trump's decision to ground Nancy Pelosi and her traveling delegation.

Almost.

Pelosi played hardball by suggesting the President postpone his State of the Union speech due to the ongoing government shutdown. Never one to sit still for an affront, Trump fired a spitball back by yanking the Air Force jet that was to fly the speaker and a congressional delegation overseas.

Neither looked particularly good.

But buried within Trump's overheated letter Thursday was a phrase that revealed something more about this President than the petty reprisal it was meant to deliver.

In summarily canceling the speaker's trip to Afghanistan, the President said, "I'm sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate."

Public relations event?

Pelosi was about the embark on an unannounced visit to our troops. Hardly a junket, the trip to a war zone was cloaked in secrecy to protect the safety of Pelosi and a delegation of House members.

In light of the President's controversial plan to shrink the US footprint in Afghanistan, there was a compelling reason for the trip. They were then to go on to Brussels to meet with our NATO allies.

I had the privilege of joining President Barack Obama in 2010 on his first visit to Afghanistan as commander in chief -- a journey I'll never forget.

Air Force One corkscrewed into the war-torn country unannounced and under the cover of darkness. We shuttled to Kabul on Blackhawk helicopters, with gunners poised to return hostile fire. The President and his delegation met for hours with their Afghan counterparts. Then we returned to Bagram Air Base, where Obama offered words of encouragement and appreciation to our troops.

The visit seemed to mean a lot to those splendid young Americans, who were risking their lives for our country half a world away. I know it meant a lot to the President, who saw it not as a "public relations event" but as his sacred obligation as commander in chief.

Maybe it's because our current President views such visits -- and virtually everything, for that matter -- as mere "public relations events" that he has yet to visit Afghanistan and our 14,000 troops there.

Or maybe he just fears going where other leaders have dared to tread. Trump, who won a deferment from service in Vietnam due to "bone spurs," described his much less risky Christmas Day trip to Iraq as if he were a hero in "Top Gun." And he has said he knows "more than the generals."

This aroused the ire of former Secretary of State John Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, with whom I sat down for this weekend's CNN episode of "The Axe Files."

"No, you don't, Mr. President," Kerry said. "You will never know what it is like to be in a foxhole or be in the front lines, be in an ambush, to be shot at, see your best friend killed in war, and I object to that."

Trump's decision to punish Pelosi by canceling her travel was a peevish retort to a political provocation. His casual dismissal of her planned visit to the troops said so much more.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 135372

Reported Deaths: 2406
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin34290991
Ramsey14168361
Dakota9897138
Anoka8872150
Washington598672
Stearns588344
Scott342934
Olmsted327730
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Clay232843
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Carver18207
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Kandiyohi17055
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Winona126019
Chisago10402
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Lyon9766
Benton9509
Waseca9299
Beltrami9017
Otter Tail8737
Todd8266
Steele7613
Morrison7429
Nicollet73917
Itasca73617
Douglas7083
Freeborn6844
Polk6734
Le Sueur6315
Martin61317
McLeod6024
Goodhue59711
Watonwan5794
Becker5754
Isanti5615
Pine5490
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Rock3404
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Redwood28111
Roseau2650
Fillmore2640
Renville25611
Sibley2543
Wadena2393
Faribault2350
Jackson2151
Kanabec21510
Swift2071
Houston2061
Pennington1951
Lincoln1840
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Aitkin1792
Koochiching1704
Pope1610
Big Stone1410
Lac qui Parle1403
Wilkin1374
Marshall1261
Lake1230
Norman1170
Mahnomen1162
Clearwater1140
Grant994
Red Lake782
Traverse570
Lake of the Woods441
Kittson420
Cook170

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 116514

Reported Deaths: 1643
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19024288
Woodbury724797
Johnson586230
Black Hawk562698
Linn5591132
Dubuque521157
Scott456639
Story401018
Dallas346344
Pottawattamie324744
Sioux244716
Buena Vista226112
Marshall202036
Webster184415
Plymouth166728
Wapello153062
Clinton149226
Muscatine147758
Des Moines139610
Cerro Gordo137726
Crawford136114
Warren12617
Carroll115612
Jasper111234
Henry10675
Marion101810
Lee95610
Tama94837
Delaware78013
Dickinson7417
Wright7271
Boone7239
Mahaska69724
Bremer6779
Washington66211
Harrison65815
Jackson6333
Benton5902
Lyon5537
Clay5354
Louisa52315
Winnebago49719
Hardin4777
Winneshiek4779
Hamilton4754
Cedar4746
Kossuth4690
Poweshiek45911
Buchanan4544
Jones4474
Floyd43711
Emmet43019
Clayton4233
Iowa4109
Page4060
Mills4053
Cherokee4032
Sac3994
Guthrie39515
Cass3903
Butler3832
Fayette3814
Franklin38118
Shelby3732
Allamakee3719
Madison3623
Chickasaw3611
Clarke3523
Humboldt3253
Hancock3204
Palo Alto3142
Grundy3115
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Osceola2851
Mitchell2811
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Monona2451
Taylor2432
Jefferson2391
Union2314
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Fremont2061
Lucas2056
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