Schumer, Pelosi Cancel Meeting With Trump Following His Tweet

Democratic leaders ask for meeting with McConnell and Ryan instead (Updated)

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi / Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) released a joint statement on Tuesday announcing that they will not attend a scheduled bipartisan meeting with Donald Trump following a tweet from the president earlier that morning.

"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," the statement reads. "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."

Pelosi and Schumer drew their conclusion about the president's intent from a statement Trump tweeted earlier Tuesday morning.

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"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. I don't see a deal!," Trump tweeted.

Pelosi and Schumer's statement adds that the Democratic leaders will instead work with Republicans in Congress.

"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," the statement says. "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."

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) responded to the Democratic leaders in a statement, calling on them to stop the "antics" and come to the White House for the scheduled meeting.

"We have important work to do, and Democratic leaders have continually found new excuses not to meet with the administration to discuss these issues," the statement reads. "Democrats are putting government operations, particularly resources for our men and women on the battlefield, at great risk by pulling these antics."

"There is a meeting at the White House this afternoon, and if Democrats want to reach an agreement, they will be there," the statement concludes.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called it "disappointing" that Schumer and Pelosi declined to attend the meeting.

"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," she said in a statement.

The bipartisan meeting was supposed to focus on extending government funding past the Dec. 8 deadline. Aside from funding the government, the leaders were expected to discuss additional issues, including immigration. Democrats and some Republicans want a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has provided legal protections to "Dreamers," or undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. Trump, in turn, wants funding for a border wall.

UPDATED 12:57 P.M.: This post was updated to include statements from Ryan and McConnell and Huckabee Sanders.