Sep 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump says he's "taking the high road" by not meeting with Democrats

Trump wears a suit at a podium
President Trump at the White House, Sept. 7. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told reporters at a Labor Day briefing on Monday that he is "taking the high road" by not meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats to negotiate the next coronavirus stimulus package.

Why it matters: Unemployment benefits have expired for millions of Americans, but House Democrats and the White House are no closer to a deal — while nearly one in eight households are struggling to get enough to eat.

What he's saying: "I don't need to meet with them to be turned down," Trump told reporters. "They don't want to make a deal because they think if the country does as badly as possible ... that's good for the Democrats."

  • "I am taking the high road. I'm taking the high road by not seeing them," he added.

Of note: Trump said that the damaging article from The Atlantic's editor-in-chief, which reported that the president "has repeatedly disparaged the intelligence of service members," was a "totally made-up story" and that "only an animal would say a thing like that."

  • He characterized a recent statement from former White House deputy chief of staff Zach Fuentes as a denial of The Atlantic's story, although what Fuentes said is that he "did not hear POTUS call anyone losers when I told him about the weather" and that sources in the article were "conflating stories."
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