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Schumer, Pelosi refuse to meet with Trump as shutdown showdown begins

Schumer, Pelosi refuse to meet with Trump as shutdown showdown begins

THE WASHINGTON TIMES – STEPHEN DINAN

The top two Democrats in Congress canceled a meeting with President Trump slated for later Tuesday, saying they didn’t see him as a viable partner in trying to strike an end-of-year spending deal.

The stunning move attempts to further sideline Mr. Trump and portray him as at odds with his party’s own leadership in Congress.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced their decision to skip the meeting hours after Mr. Trump said he doubted they could reach a deal on an end-of-year spending bill.

Instead, the two Democrats said they would try to schedule a meeting with their counterparts, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to try to strike a deal with them independent of Mr. Trump.

“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 Democrats said in a joint statement.

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