After being accused of pulling out of a meeting with President Donald Trump for political reasons, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said Trump had received “incorrect information” about the logistics of the meeting. Cummings also reminded the President that he had not replied to an invitation weeks ago from the Congressional Black Caucus.
Asked if he would include the Congressional Black Caucus in his administration’s urban agenda, Trump said during a press conference Thursday that he had attempted to meet with Cummings.
“I actually thought I had a meeting with Congressman Cummings and he was all excited, and then he said, ‘Oh, I can’t move, it might be bad for me politically. I can’t have that meeting,’” Trump said. “I was all set to have that meeting. You know, we called him and called him. And he was all set. I spoke to him on the phone, very nice guy.”
“He probably was told by Schumer or somebody like that, some other lightweight, he was probably told, ‘Don’t meet with Trump. It’s bad politics.’ And that’s part of the problem in this country,” Trump added.
Asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about Trump’s characterization of the meeting, Cummings said he was still planning on meeting with the President, but wanted enough time to prepare draft legislation on prescription affordability.
“No, I’m still excited about meeting with the President,” Cummings said. “I think, basically, his staff gave him some incorrect information, because they know that we have been wanting to meet with him with regard to the high prices of prescription drugs. And that’s what our meeting is going to be about.”
“They also know that I’ve been working very closely for the last three or four years with Sen. Bernie Sanders on those issues,” he continued. “We have a proposal that we are putting together. We haven’t finished yet. And I wanted to merely finish with that proposal so that when I walked into that office, I could present it to the President and say, ‘Mr. President, I want you to help us get this passed so that people will not have to be paying these unreasonable prices for prescription drugs.’”
“So the meeting was never set. We didn’t get all of these calls that he talked about. As a matter of fact, I’m still looking forward to meeting with the President.”
Cummings noted, however, that the President still hadn’t responded to a letter from the Congressional Black Caucus dated Jan. 19, inviting him to engage with the caucus on a variety of policy issues.