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 ReidMeet the lawyer Democrats call when it's recount time Cortez Masto poised to become DSCC chair Schumer’s headaches to multiply in next Congress MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday ripped Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRand Paul blocking Trump counterterrorism nominee On The Money: Trump, Senate leaders to huddle on border wall funding | Fed bank regulator walks tightrope on Dodd-Frank | Koch-backed groups blast incentives for corporations after Amazon deal Congress is going to make marijuana moves 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 SchumerSchumer warns Trump to stay out of government funding negotiations Schumer predicts Nelson will 'continue being senator' if 'every vote counted' Over 1,600 lawyers sign letter saying Mueller probe must be protected MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPelosi and her opponents voice confidence over Speakership battle House Dems split on how to tackle climate change Overnight Energy: House Dems at odds over how to handle climate change | Trump shows support to California over wildfires | Zinke calls fires worse than Iraq war zones MORE (D-Calif.) canceled a scheduled meeting with Trump, McConnell and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJordan on leadership loss: 'We knew it was an uphill fight' McCarthy defeats Jordan for minority leader in 159-to-43 vote The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Leadership elections in Congress | Freshman lawmakers arrive | Trump argues he can restrict reporter access 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.