Hours after President Donald Trump abruptly canceled House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s flight on a military aircraft to visit troops in Afghanistan with a congressional delegation, Melania Trump jetted down to Mar-a-Lago in Florida for vacation — on an Air Force plane.
On Thursday, Trump wrote to Pelosi that he was canceling her foreign flight “due to the shutdown.”
He added: “In light of 800,000 great American workers not receiving any pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate.”
Melania Trump’s flight was officially designated EXEC1F, a call-sign known to be used when members of a president’s family are aboard a military plane. The jet was a Boeing C32-A, which is the same type of aircraft used to transport the president, NBC reported. She and her son Barron arrived in West Palm Beach on Thursday evening and were expected to spend the long holiday weekend at the resort.
The flight was noted by @CivMilAir, a Twitter account that tracks “rare/interesting” air traffic. It posted screenshots of the plane’s trajectory and confirmed that the first lady had landed at Palm Beach International Airport.
— CivMilAir (@CivMilAir) January 17, 2019
A U.S government plane has landed at PBIA. It is believed that the plane was carrying First Lady Melanie Trump. pic.twitter.com/KxEgvKDKB4
— Julius Whigham II (@JuliusWhigham) January 18, 2019
Pelosi was scheduled to visit Brussels with other lawmakers to meet with “top NATO commanders, U.S. military leaders and key allies ― to affirm the United States’ ironclad commitment to the NATO alliance,” said Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill. She then planned to visit troops in Afghanistan.
Hammill pointed out that Trump flew to Iraq during the government shutdown, and so did a delegation led by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.). Yet Trump grounded Pelosi the day after she suggested that he postpone his State of the Union address until the government shutdown was over.
A White House official told NBC News that all delegations planning to travel overseas that intended to use federally funded military aircraft had been grounded by Trump until the shutdown ended.
Twitter had a few words about the first lady’s trip to the Sunshine State:
Fabulous. Because that's how we should be spending Fed dollars during a shutdown.
— K.C. (@MendoKC) January 17, 2019
Good to know US taxpayers can still pay for Melania’s excursions to a Trump-owned resort where federal money pours directly into Trump pockets even while the government is shutdown.
— Merrill️ (@MerrillLynched) January 17, 2019
Well I am glad Melania’s shopping trip to Florida won’t be postponed. She needed her military jet. Great decision making there a Don.
— Pam Giger (@hawley1955) January 18, 2019
Melania Trump flew on a government plane today to go on vacation at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. Trump cancels the government plane for the Speaker’s trip to Afghanistan to visit with troops. This is what corruption looks like. The definition of it. In so many ways. Abuse of power.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) January 18, 2019
— cloud9yogi in SLC (@darylwolke) January 17, 2019
Surely she will go visit the troops on Afghanistan!
— Jo (@espressodoppio6) January 17, 2019
Just her weekly spray tan appointment in Palm Beach.
— Nancy Lange (@nancylangeboca) January 17, 2019
First Lady departs for her country club in Palm Beach, FL while 800K+ federal workers and related businesses have no paycheck bc of her criminal husband.
— (@HildyJohnsonA1) January 17, 2019
— Paula Froelich (@Pfro) January 18, 2019
The 3rd lady gets flown to a country club on tax payer money while hundreds of thousands of Americans go without pay bc her cheating husband shut down the government. #TrumpShutdown#BeBest 🤬https://t.co/T6PcKv2MAj
— yummyh2t (@yummyh2t) January 18, 2019
Hey @PressSec - curious why this trip is justified but a bipartisan congressional visit to reaffirm NATO and thank our troops is not?
— Relentless Optimist (@relentlssoptmst) January 18, 2019
But...there’s a SHUTDOWN
— Michele Winsor (@michwinsor) January 17, 2019
sooooooo... because of the shut down @TeamPelosi can’t visit US troops in Afghanistan via military aircraft, but thanks @FLOTUS Melania CAN fly down to Florida to work on her tan courtesy of our tax dollars???
yes. this makes perfect sense. pic.twitter.com/NwQxlhoz9m
— neva (@ncheatwood) January 17, 2019
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.