Ex-Obama and Reid staffers: McConnell would pretend to be busy to avoid meeting with Obama

Former staffers for President Obama and former Sen. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSenate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees Harry Reid knocks Ocasio-Cortez's tax proposal: Fast 'radical change' doesn't work Overnight Defense: Trump rejects Graham call to end shutdown | Coast Guard on track to miss Tuesday paychecks | Dems eye Trump, Russia probes | Trump talks with Erdogan after making threat to Turkey's economy MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday ripped Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Senate to take up Trump's border-immigration plan next week Trump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback MORE (R-Ky.) for criticizing Democratic leaders for declining a meeting with President Trump, saying McConnell used to pretend to be busy to avoid scheduling meetings with Obama.

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“I never refused to go to a meeting that President Obama called,” McConnell told reporters after Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerProtecting our judiciary must be a priority in the 116th Congress Baldwin's Trump plays 'Deal or No Deal' with shutdown on 'Saturday Night Live' Sunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Rove warns Senate GOP: Don't put only focus on base Senate to take up Trump's border-immigration plan next week MORE (D-Calif.) canceled a scheduled meeting with Trump, McConnell and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAEI names Robert Doar as new president GOP can't excommunicate King and ignore Trump playing to white supremacy and racism House vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King MORE (R-Wis.). 

McConnell said Schumer and Pelosi’s decision showed “a lack of seriousness” to work toward a deal on a government spending bill before the end of the year. 

“McConnell would also pretend to be ‘busy’ to prevent a meeting from being scheduled because he didn’t want his base to see him with Obama,” former Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer tweeted. 

“Can confirm,” replied Adam Jentleson, former deputy chief of staff for Reid.

Other reporters pointed out that McConnell refused a meeting with Obama in 2010, opting instead to attend a dinner for the conservative Federalist Society.

Schumer and Pelosi backed out of the meeting after Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that he didn't "see a deal" with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown. 

"Meeting with 'Chuck and Nancy' today about keeping government open and working," Trump had said. “Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!"

Democrats have insisted that any funding deal include protections for young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children after Trump announced plans to halt the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program earlier this year.

"Given that the President doesn’t see a deal between Democrats and the White House, we believe the best path forward is to continue negotiating with our Republican counterparts in Congress instead," Schumer said in a statement Tuesday.