Trump invites network representatives to lunch ahead of prime-time address

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE invited representatives from broadcast and cable news outlets to lunch on Tuesday ahead of his prime-time address from the Oval Office later in the evening.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Trump had extended the invitation ahead of his address on the border wall and the current partial government shutdown. It was unclear who was invited.

Anchor Bret Baier represented Fox News, according to a tweet he sent. 

The White House did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Hill.


The invitation to the Roosevelt Room from the president comes after several networks, including ABC, NBC, CBS and MSNBC, deliberated for hours on Monday afternoon about whether to broadcast the the Oval Office address.

All the major broadcast and cable networks networks ended up agreeing to air the speech. 

The networks went ahead despite apprehension made privately by some executives that the president will use the free airtime to overtly push a political agenda around wall funding, which is the sticking point in the ongoing government shutdown.

The White House informed the networks on Monday the speech will last no longer than eight minutes.

Democrats also requested equal time to respond, which was granted. House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election Trump is betting big on the suburbs, but his strategy is failing 'bigly' Trump orders flags at half-staff to honor 'trailblazer' Ginsburg MORE (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerVideo of Lindsey Graham arguing against nominating a Supreme Court justice in an election year goes viral Graham signals support for confirming a Supreme Court nominee this year Pelosi orders Capitol flags at half-staff to honor Ginsburg MORE (N.Y.) will provide the Democratic rebuttal.

The lunch invitation is not uncommon before consequential addressed made by the president. In the past, presidents of both parties have invited television anchors to meet at the White House before the State of the Union, for example.