Fla. senator blasts 'excessive partisanship' after exclusion from White House guns meeting

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonBottom Line Bottom Line Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity MORE (D-Fla.) decried what he called "excessive partisanship" on Wednesday after he was left out of a meeting between President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE and a group of lawmakers about legislative responses to a deadly shooting at a south Florida high school.

"It was intentional. I'm not unhappy about it. I think it shows the excessive partisanship, if not of the president, of at least those around him," Nelson said on MSNBC's "Meet the Press Daily."

"What people want is they want us to come together in bipartisan agreement," he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Nelson's absence at the White House meeting was striking with his Republican counterpart, Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio places hold on number-two Interior nominee over offshore drilling Rubio on Chris Pratt water bottle story: 'I too was caught with a single use plastic water bottle' House votes to sanction Chinese officials over treatment of Uighurs MORE (Fla.), in attendance, as were Florida Reps. Brian MastBrian Jeffrey MastA new way to address veteran and military suicides VA might not be able to end veteran homelessness, but we shouldn't stop trying GOP lawmaker mistakenly wishes Navy happy birthday with photo of Russian ship MORE (R), John RutherfordJohn Henry RutherfordEd Markey, John Rutherford among victors at charity pumpkin-carving contest 'Mass shooting' at Florida video game tournament: authorities Carter, Yoder advance in appropriations committee leadership reshuffle MORE (R), Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchBipartisan lawmakers introduce amendment affirming US commitment to military aid to Israel Ethics sends memo to lawmakers on SCIF etiquette Pelosi signs bill making animal cruelty a federal crime MORE (D) and Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyBlue Dogs issue new call for House leaders to abide by pay-go rule Trump administration unveils new plan for notifying public on 2020 election interference Overnight Health Care: House Dems clash over Pelosi drug pricing bill | Senate blocks effort to roll back Trump ObamaCare moves | Number of uninsured children rises MORE (D).

The Democratic senator has been an outspoken advocate for strengthening gun control laws after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14, which left 17 people dead and 14 others injured.

Nelson appeared at a CNN televised town hall with students, parents and community members of Parkland last week.

An aide to Nelson told The Hill earlier Wednesday that the decision to exclude him from the White House meeting was "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 aide said, referring to Florida's Republican governor, who is said to be weighing a bid for Nelson's Senate seat.

Trump has reportedly been encouraging Scott to run.