Nov 28, 2017

How Trump's meeting with congressional leaders fell apart

Trump with Democratic and Republican leaders. Photo: Susan Walsh / AP

Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi say they won't attend a bipartisan meeting at the White House Tuesday after President Trump tweeted: "they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don't see a deal!"

The meeting invitation still stands, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan have said they plan to be there.

Schumer and Pelosi offered to negotiate with McConnell and Ryan alone, but the Republican leaders declined, saying, "If Democrats want to reach an agreement on these issues, they will be" at the White House.

The Democrats' full statement:

"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. 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. We don't have any time to waste in addressing the issues that confront us, so we're going to continue to negotiate with Republican leaders who may be interested in reaching a bipartisan agreement.

"If the President, who already said earlier this year that 'our country needs a good shutdown,' isn't interested in addressing the difficult year end agenda, we'll work with those Republicans who are, as we did in April. We look forward to continuing to work in good faith, as we have been for the last month, with our Republican colleagues in Congress to do just that."

The Republicans' full statement:

The White House's full statement:

"It's disappointing that Senator Schumer and Leader Pelosi are refusing to come to the table and discuss urgent issues."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."The meeting will proceed as scheduled with Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell and administration officials who are committed to getting things done. If the Democrats believe the American people deserve action on these critical year-end issues as we do, they should attend."

Trump's tweet:

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