President Donald Trump on Tuesday said top Democratic lawmakers who skipped a meeting at the White House after he blasted them on Twitter are “all talk, no action.”
Flanked by empty chairs with name cards for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Trump said he was “not really that surprised” the Democratic leaders decided not to attend a scheduled meeting at the White House.
“We have a lot of differences. They’re weak on crime. They’re weak on illegal immigration,” Trump said. “They decided not to show up. They have been all talk and they have been no action. And now it’s even worse. Now it’s not even talk. So they’re not showing up for the meeting.”
Schumer and Pelosi announced earlier Tuesday that they were not attending the meeting after Trump criticized them on Twitter and said he did not “see” the possibility of a bipartisan deal to pass a bill that would prevent a shutdown early in December.
Trump did meet with congressional Republicans on Tuesday about his party’s push to cut taxes. Trump said that was “very special.”
“We had a good day today. We had a phenomenal meeting with the Republican senators,” he said. “It was somewhat of a love fest.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), seated to the left of Pelosi’s empty chair, said, “I think it’s regrettable that our Democratic colleagues in the leadership chose not to join us today.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Schumer and Pelosi, who requested a meeting with McConnell and Ryan, “need to understand the way the government works.”
He claimed, inaccurately, that he never skipped a meeting with a sitting president.
“I’ve been in this situation under a couple of previous presidents. I can’t recall ever turning down an opportunity to go down to the White House,” McConnell said.
In fact, in 2010, McConnell—then the Senate minority leader—skipped dinner with President Barack Obama in favor of a meal with the conservative Federalist Society.