White House excludes Florida Democratic senator from meeting

The White House has excluded Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonAl Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Democrats target Florida Hispanics in 2020 Poll: Six Democrats lead Trump in Florida match-ups MORE (D-Fla.) from a meeting between President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE and lawmakers from both parties about a legislative response to the high school shooting in his home state.

Nelson, who is up for reelection next year and may be challenged by Rick Scott, Florida’s Republican governor, was not in the White House list of invitees and was conspicuous in his absence.


Florida’s other senator, Republican Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move MORE, did make the cut, as did a number of House members from Florida: GOP Reps. John RutherfordJohn Henry Rutherford'Mass shooting' at Florida video game tournament: authorities Carter, Yoder advance in appropriations committee leadership reshuffle Senators introduce measure floating years of prison for those who injure cops MORE and Brian MastBrian Jeffrey MastThe 9 House Republicans who support background checks Two cats visit Capitol Hill to thank lawmakers who helped end 'kitten slaughterhouse' Buzz Aldrin marks launch of Apollo 11 mission to the moon MORE and Democratic Reps. Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchHouse Democrats urge Trump to end deportations of Iraqis after diabetic man's death House conservatives call for ethics probe into Joaquin Castro tweet Democratic leaders seek to have it both ways on impeachment MORE and Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyDemocratic leaders seek to have it both ways on impeachment Senate committee advances 'deepfakes' legislation House Democrats delete tweets attacking each other, pledge to unify MORE.

Sen. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnTaylor Swift defends staying out of the 2016 election: 'I just knew I wasn't going to help' The 23 Republicans who opposed Trump-backed budget deal Senate passes sweeping budget deal, sending it to Trump MORE (R-Tenn.), who is running for the Senate in her state, also was on the invitee list.

“I don't know why I wasn't invited. ... And of course that doesn't foster bipartisanship when you're trying to solve a problem,” Nelson told ABC News.

Spokespeople for the White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

An aide argued that the decision to exclude Nelson from the White House meeting is “all political.”

“The White House is doing everything it can to help Gov. Rick Scott as he prepares to run against Nelson this year. This is just the latest,” the staffer said.

Trump has reportedly been urging Scott to enter the race against Nelson.

If Scott challenges Nelson, it is expected that it could be the most expensive Senate race in the country this fall.

Deutch and Rubio both took part in a CNN town hall with Nelson last week, where they faced questions about Congress's next steps on gun control in the wake of the school shooting, where 17 people were killed. 

Nelson, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerLewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid Colorado candidates vying to take on Gardner warn Hickenlooper they won't back down MORE (D-N.Y.) and Democratic Sens. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: US, Russia tensions grow over nuclear arms | Highlights from Esper's Asia trip | Trump strikes neutral tone on Hong Kong protests | General orders ethics review of special forces White House eyes September action plan for gun proposals Trump phoned Democratic senator to talk gun control MORE (Conn.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharPoll: Nearly 4 in 5 say they will consider candidates' stances on cybersecurity The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment MORE (Minn.) sent a letter to Trump on Wednesday urging him to support stricter gun control laws.

Chris Murphy and Klobuchar will attend Wednesday's White House meeting. Four Democratic senators are invited along with seven Republicans.