South Florida

Melania Trump flies to West Palm in government plane despite shutdown

In this file photo, first lady Melania Trump was at the United Nations in New York in September 2018.
In this file photo, first lady Melania Trump was at the United Nations in New York in September 2018. AFP/Getty Images

On Thursday, a day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told President Donald Trump he should delay his State of the Union speech amid the government shutdown, the president grounded the military aircraft that Pelosi and a Congressional delegation were to use to visit American troops in Afghanistan.

Trump, also citing the government shutdown, emphasized that taking a trip while 800,000 federal workers weren’t getting paid is “totally inappropriate,” he wrote to Pelosi in a letter.

Those rules, however, didn’t apply to his wife, first lady Melania Trump, reports say.

President Donald Trump reiterated a threat to shut down parts of the government over his promised border wall with Mexico, and said the military could build the wall if Democrats refuse to vote in favor of the project.

@CivMilAir, a Twitter account that tracks “rare/interesting” air traffic, posted screenshots of the first lady’s plane trajectory. In a thread, the account confirmed that she landed at Palm Beach International Airport after departing from Joint Base Andrews near Washington, D.C.. at around 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

According to the Palm Beach Post, Air Force One was spotted on the airport’s tarmac.

CNN White House correspondent Abby Philip also posted on social media that the first lady had landed in Florida to spend the holiday weekend at Mar-a-Lago.

Melania Trump’s spokeswoman could not be reached for comment late Thursday night.

The federal government is shut down. So how does this happen and who is affected?

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