GOP senator: Trump should have invited Dems to state dinner
GOP Sen. John Kennedy says he would have invited Democrats and the media to the White House state dinner tonight: "I think it would have sent a better message … if we included a cross-section of Congress" https://t.co/vpRNObvuvU https://t.co/Lv1oWNSe4s
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 24, 2018
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) on Tuesday said he thinks President Trump should have invited Democrats and the media to the state dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron.
“I think it would have sent a better message, just my opinion, if we included a cross-section of Congress. You can’t include everybody, but that’s Democrats, Independents and Republicans,” Kennedy said on CNN’s “New Day.”
He added that the event would benefit from more media exposure so U.S. leaders can be seen thanking Macron for his country’s assistance in Syria and on other issues.
Kennedy said he sees Macron’s visit as a way to ensure the U.S. and France are on the same page on Syria’s civil war, the Iran nuclear deal, policy toward China and other key issues.
“It’s about learning from President Macron and thanking him,” Kennedy said. “I want to thank him for standing with us in Syria. I want to thank him, the French people through the president, for selling us Louisiana in 1803.”
Trump did not invite Democrats or members of the media to Tuesday night’s dinner with Macron in what is a departure from past state dinners.
Kennedy is one of four members of Congress to be invited, according to Politico, joining House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.).
During the last state dinner for a French president, made by Macron’s predecessor François Hollande, then-President Obama featured lawmakers from both parties and an appearance by singer Mary J. Blige.
Trump has frequently sparred with Democrats since taking office, blaming the minority party for obstructing his nominees and for legislative failures.
Trump was also the first president in almost a century to not have a state dinner during his first year in office.