Trump invites congressional leaders to White House for “briefing” on border security

Posted at 8:54 AM, Jan 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-02 10:57:36-05

President Trump has invited congressional leaders of both parties to the White House on Wednesday for a “briefing” on border security, according to a congressional source.

Wednesday marks the 12th day of the partial government shutdown as the president and Democrats remain at odds over Mr. Trump’s insistence on $5 billion for improving security on the border.

Democrats are set to take over the House on Thursday, with Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi set to be elected speaker.

Mr. Trump invited Pelosi and incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to Wednesday’s meeting, as well as Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his number two, Sen. John Thune, have also been invited, as have Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and whip Dick Durbin.

Democratic congressional aides expressed skepticism about the briefing, saying the agenda for the session is unclear. One aide, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said the invitation “appears to be more of a White House stunt” than a “serious attempt to have a discussion.”

The last meeting between Democratic leaders and Mr. Trump occurred three weeks ago.

Pelosi and Schumer unveiled the outline of their bill to end the partial government shutdown when Democrats take control of the House. But the bill includes only $1.3 billion for border security, far short of Mr. Trump’s request of $5 billion. The White House said Monday he will reject it.

Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he was willing to make a deal with Pelosi.

“Border Security and the Wall ‘thing’ and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker! Let’s make a deal?” Mr. Trump wrote.

-Grace Segers reporting for CBS with additional reporting from Steven Portnoy

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