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

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.) decried what he called "excessive partisanship" on Wednesday after he was left out of a meeting between President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president 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.


Nelson's absence at the White House meeting was striking with his Republican counterpart, Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads What the gun safety debate says about Washington Trump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China MORE (Fla.), in attendance, as were Florida Reps. 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 (R), 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 (R), Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchHobbled NRA shows strength with Trump House Democrats urge Trump to end deportations of Iraqis after diabetic man's death House conservatives call for ethics probe into Joaquin Castro tweet MORE (D) and Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyLawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator Democratic leaders seek to have it both ways on impeachment Senate committee advances 'deepfakes' legislation 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.