On Thursday morning, incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) responded to criticism over her recent trip to Hawaii, saying she was merely celebrating Christmas with her family. Then she made an eye-popping assertion, suggesting that President Donald Trump did not celebrate “the religious holiday of Christmas.” Trump made a surprise visit to troops in Iraq on the day after Christmas.
NBC’s Savannah Guthrie asked Pelosi about her Hawaii visit, saying, “The president took a swipe, I think, as recently as today saying that you went on vacation to Hawaii during the shutdown. Now, you had said before the shutdown that he was being cavalier and that maybe the shutdown will give him more time to golf, but in the end it was you that took a holiday.”
“I don’t think I took a holiday,” Pelosi countered. “I observed the Christmas holiday for a few days and I cut in time, half the time I would have had with my family.”
The Democratic leader argued that the issue is “totally unimportant.” Yet she went on to insist that she and her team “all stood ready and told our members we’ll have 24 hours notice for all of us to be where we need to be.”
Then she slammed Trump in two remarkable ways. “And the president may not know this, but Hawaii is part of the United States of America. Maybe he doesn’t realize that,” Pelosi quipped.
Finally, she insinuated that Trump did not celebrate Christmas. “I don’t know where the president observed the religious holiday of Christmas. Do you?” Pelosi asked.
Presumably, the president was flying to Iraq on Christmas Day, and his trip was a surprise, so his whereabouts were not publicized at the time. He could have gone to church before his flight, or he could have invited a minister onto Air Force One.
Pelosi’s assertion seems rather odd, since Trump has consistently championed the celebration of Christmas, repeatedly declaring that Americans will say “Merry Christmas” again. His White House Christmas decorations grabbed headlines in 2017 and 2018. He has consistently championed the concerns of evangelical Christians at a time when the Left seems ever less willing to consider religious freedom exemptions, even for nuns and even involving practices like abortion.
Trump’s exact religious beliefs remain something of an enigma. He identifies as a Christian and presents a cultural Christianity, but he has allied himself with “prosperity gospel” preachers and he notoriously did not say the Apostle’s Creed at the funeral of George H.W. Bush.
Even if Trump did not celebrate Christmas in a church, he would have skipped out in order to visit the troops. That event illustrated the depths of Trump Derangement Syndrome in many parts of the media, as outlets attacked the president for not going to visit the troops — and then slammed him for actually visiting the troops, because it was a surprise visit.
Similarly, Pelosi insists she was working part-time during the Christmas shutdown, and then slams Trump for working during the Christmas shutdown. Had he not visited the troops, she would have blasted him for taking a vacation.
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