The Latest: Rank-and-file Dems invited to lunch with Trump

The Latest: Rank-and-file Dems invited to lunch with Trump
President Donald Trump, right, and Vice President Mike Pence, left, listen during a reception for the Clemson Tigers in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the partial government shutdown (all times local):

9:55 a.m.

The White House has invited rank-and-file House Democrats to lunch with President Donald Trump, bypassing Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders as part of a strategy to peel off centrist and freshman lawmakers to support funding his U.S.-Mexico border wall.

An aide says Pelosi gave lawmakers her blessing to attend Tuesday, telling her leadership team that the group can see what she and others have been dealing with during the shutdown. The aide was not authorized to publicly discuss the private session and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Pelosi and her team have met several times with Trump during the shutdown, now in its 25th day. Trump walked out of their most recent meeting.

Capitol Hill aides say the lawmakers going to the White House include centrist Democrats from districts were Trump is popular, including freshmen.


By Lisa Mascaro.


12:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump says resolving the partial government shutdown is so simple that declaring a national emergency shouldn’t be necessary and that he’s not looking to do so.

While Trump edged away from the idea of going around Congress to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, he also declared Monday that he would “never back down” from pursuing it.

Democratic lawmakers also gave no indication they were backing off their opposition to funding the wall.

The White House has been considering reaching out to rank-and-file Democrats rather than dealing with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to try and chip away at Democratic opposition.

In the Senate, several senators from both parties met Monday to discuss ways to end the gridlock.