Democratic leaders cancel meeting with Trump after Twitter attack

President Donald Trump in the White HouseImage copyright

Democratic congressional leaders have cancelled a meeting with President Donald Trump after he attacked them on Twitter.

The Republican president said he did not think he could reach a deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on funding the government.

The Democrats said they would negotiate with Republican lawmakers instead.

Averting a federal shutdown is just one of this month’s big challenges for Republicans, who control Capitol Hill.

The party’s lawmakers are also under pressure to pass a far-reaching tax plan that they can send to the president’s desk by the end of the year.

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Nancy Pelosi (L) and Chuck Schumer are regular sparring partners of the president

Mr Trump is making a rare visit to Congress on Tuesday to discuss a year-end spending package to fund the government through to next September.

Democrats have suggested negotiations could hinge on saving an Obama-era programme that allowed undocumented immigrants who entered the US as children to stay.

Mr Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning: “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!”

House Democratic leader Ms Pelosi and Mr Schumer, who is her Senate equivalent, later issued a joint statement abruptly calling off the meeting.

“Given that the president doesn’t see a deal between Democrats and the White House,” they said, “we believe the best path forward is to continue negotiating with our Republican counterparts instead.”

Their move was criticised by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate leader Mitch McConnell, who are also attending Tuesday afternoon’s meeting with the president.

The two Republican leaders said in a joint statement: “We have important work to do, and Democratic leaders have continually found new excuses not to meet with the administration to discuss these issues.”

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