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Trump invites rank-and-file House Democrats to lunch, looks to break unity in shutdown fight

January 15, 2019

President Trump has invited rank-and-file House Democrats to lunch Tuesday, looking to break apart unity behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s opposition to border wall funding.

Despite the attempt at an end-run around Mrs. Pelosi, the speaker gave her blessing for Democrats to attend the lunch, according to an Associated Press report.

The White House has been targeting freshmen House Democrats elected in districts that backed Mr. Trump in 2016, some of whom have spoken in favor of border barriers.

Mr. Trump recently said he though Democrat unity was beginning to “break” on the border fence issue.

A Pelosi aide said the speaker welcomed the opportunity for members to see what she had been dealing with during the shutdown standoff.

The clash over border wall funding has kept the government partially shuttered for 25 days.

Mr. Trump walked out of his last meeting with Mrs. Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, saying they refused to negotiate any funding for a border fence or wall even if he agreed to end the shutdown.