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 ReidNevada congressman admits to affair after relationship divulged on podcast Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil Bottom line MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday ripped Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Americans debate life under COVID-19 risks The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip Democratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies 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 SchumerDemocratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies Trump slams Sessions: 'You had no courage & ruined many lives' Senate Democrats call on Trump administration to let Planned Parenthood centers keep PPP loans MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBottom line This week: Surveillance fight sets early test for House's proxy voting Women suffering steeper job losses in COVID-19 economy MORE (D-Calif.) canceled a scheduled meeting with Trump, McConnell and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanLobbying world John Ratcliffe is the right choice for director of national intelligence — and for America House Democrat calls for halt to lawmakers sleeping in their offices 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.