Trump won’t attend annual St. Patrick’s lunch at Capitol

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President Trump will not attend the annual St. Patrick’s Day lunch on Thursday at the Capitol, officials confirmed to The Hill.

White House spokesman Judd Deere told The Hill that the president would skip the event because of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) “actions” and “rhetoric.”

“Since the Speaker has chosen to tear this Nation apart with her actions and her rhetoric, the President will not participate in moments where she so often chooses to drive discord and disunity, and will instead celebrate the rich history and strong ties between the United States and Ireland at the White House,” he said in a statement. 

“The relationship between our two countries has never been stronger, and the President looks forward to welcoming the Prime Minister of Ireland for the annual Shamrock Bowl presentation,” he added.

“There has never been stronger support in the Congress and in the country for the U.S.-Ireland bilateral relationship,” said Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi. “One would think that the White House could set petty, partisan politics aside for this historic occasion.”

The lunch, which is hosted by the Speaker, has been held each year since 1987. Four presidents have skipped the lunch in that period, typically sending their vice president in their place. Vice President Pence will also not attend this week’s lunch, Hammill added. 

Former President George W. Bush was the last president to miss the lunch. He skipped it in 2003 during the days leading up to the invasion of Iraq. 

The Irish Times first reported the president would not attend this week’s lunch. 

Morgan Chalfant contributed to this report, which was updated at 1:01 p.m. on March 9.

Tags Donald Trump Mike Pence Nancy Pelosi st. patrick's day

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