The Congressional Black Caucus is expected to turn down an invitation to meet with President Donald Trump due to political disagreement and concern over being used for a photo op.
Sources close to the group told Politico that the Trump administration has not advanced the CBC's agenda and that the 49 lawmakers who make up the caucus think they would be used as props to bolster Trump's standing with African Americans:
"No one wants to be a co-star on the reality show," said one senior Democratic aide.
Lawmakers in the 49-member group each received an invitation last week from Omarosa Manigault, the-reality-TV-star-turned-White-House-aide who has pitched herself as an unofficial liaison to the CBC.
"As requested by the president, we would like to schedule a follow-up meeting with the entire membership of the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss issues pertinent to your members," Manigault wrote in the invitation, obtained by POLITICO.
But multiple CBC members said they were put off that she signed the invitation as "the Honorable Omarosa Manigault," saying she hasn’t earned that title nor has she helped raise the profile of CBC issues within the White House as promised.
CBC chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond (D., La.) is not expected to officially announce a rejection of the invitation until after the group's meeting on Wednesday, but a source said to Politico a meeting is "off the table."
Sources of disagreement include anger over what the CBC calls the administration's failure to address issues like voting rights or criminal justice reform.