Nancy Pelosi's senior aide says White House leaked the details of lawmakers' commercial flight to war zone

Alex Wong/Getty ImagesHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  • One of Nancy Pelosi’s senior aides claims the White House leaked details of a congressional delegation’s commercial travel plans to Afghanistan to stop the trip.
  • The news comes after President Trump canceled the military charter meant to take the delegation on the foreign trip.
  • A senior White House official denied the leaks, calling it a “flat out lie.”

WASHINGTON – The White House leaked the details of the commercial travel plans for the congressional delegation’s trip to Brussels and Afghanistan after President Donald Trump abruptly canceled the military chartered trip on Thursday, according a senior aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Trump canceled the trip Thursday afternoon, sending Capitol Hill into a chaotic scene that included a wild goose chase after a United States Air Force bus full of members of Congress ready to depart Washington. But things got more complicated when they planned to go forward with the trip via commercial travel.

Read more:
Trump sends Capitol Hill into chaos after cancelling congressional trip to Afghanistan

In a statement, Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill said, “After President Trump revoked the use of military aircraft to travel to Afghanistan, the delegation was prepared to fly commercially to proceed with this vital trip to meet with our commanders and troops on the front lines.”

“In the middle of the night, the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service provided an updated threat assessment detailing that the President announcing this sensitive travel had significantly increased the danger to the delegation and to the troops, security, and other officials supporting the trip,” Hammill said. “This morning, we learned that the Administration had leaked the commercial travel plans as well.”

“In light of the grave threats caused by the President’s action, the delegation has decided to postpone the trip so as not to further endanger our troops and security personnel, or the other travellers on the flights,” Hammill added. “Whether here or abroad, the Speaker always thanks our troops, diplomats and intelligence community for their heroism and service.”

“The Speaker commends her colleagues on the delegation, who personally and officially have dedicated their lives to protect and defend the American people,” he concluded.

A senior White House official denied leaking the details of the commercial flight in an email to INSIDER.

“When the Speaker of the house and about 20 others from Capitol Hill decide to book their own commercial flights to Afghanistan, the world is going to find out,” the official said. “The idea we would leak anything that would put the safety and security of any American at risk is a flat out lie.”

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.