Democrat Leaders Back Out Of White House Meeting

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that they will not meet with President Donald Trump following his disparaging tweet.

The president was scheduled to meet Tuesday with the two Democrats as well as with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ahead of a looming government shutdown.

“Meeting with ‘Chuck and Nancy’ today about keeping government open and working. Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes,” Trump tweeted. “I don’t see a deal!”

“Given that the President doesn’t see a deal between Democrats and the White House, we believe the best path forward is to continue negotiating with our Republican counterparts in Congress instead,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement. “Rather than going to the White House for a show meeting that won’t result in an agreement, we’ve asked Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan to meet this afternoon.”

Ryan and McConnell subsequently put a joint statement. “There is a meeting at the White House this afternoon, and if Democrats want to reach an agreement, they will be there,” the two Republican lawmakers said.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders likewise responded in a statement that said the scheduled meeting will go forward.

“The President’s invitation to the Democrat leaders still stands and he encourages them to put aside their pettiness, stop the political grandstanding, show up and get to work. These issues are too important,” Sanders said.

Schumer tweeted a serious of comments — all in Spanish — explaining his reason for backing out of the meeting.

Updated with comments from McConnell, Ryan and Sanders