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No, Trump isn’t trying to do bipartisan tax reform

The White House sees Joe Manchin as one of the most likely Democrats to be open to tax reform. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

President Trump got a lot of attention for his Tuesday night dinner with three red-state Democratic senators, where he tried to win their support for tax reform. But here's the thing: This was not the start of a bipartisan tax reform effort. This was the White House's attempt to give Republicans a cushion in case they lose a few votes.

An administration official tells me the three Democratic senators — Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly — were invited because they were considered the most likely to be open to a Republican tax reform plan. (They're the ones who didn't sign a letter from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer setting Democrats' conditions for tax reform talks.)