Incoming Minnesota governor says he's too busy to meet with Trump

Minnesota Gov.-elect Tim WalzTimothy (Tim) James WalzMinnesota program will pay homeowners to transform lawns into bee gardens as species inches closer to extinction Minnesota governor signs law making marital rape illegal New governors chart ambitious paths in first 100 days MORE (D) reportedly declined an invitation from the White House to meet with President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE on Thursday, saying he’s too busy working on building his incoming administration.

“The governor-elect is in Minnesota building his incoming administration and is unable to attend the meeting at the White House,” Kayla Castaneda, a spokeswoman for Walz, said in a statement on Thursday to the St. Paul Pioneer Press

The newspaper points out Walz’s team is currently in the process of vetting more than 1,500 applicants for appointed positions in his new administration.

The White House reportedly invited 22 men and women representing both parties who were elected for the first time as governors of states and U.S. territories to meet with Trump on Thursday. Trump on Thursday met with 13 governors-elect at the White House. 

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Walz, who has served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Minnesota's 1st congressional district since 2007, will be sworn into office next month, replacing Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton – who did not seek reelection in November after serving two terms.

Trump complimented the group of governors on Thursday and called them “some really terrific people.”

“They’re all gonna do great jobs,” Trump said. "We have some real stars in the room."

Republican state Rep. Anne Neu slammed Walz in a statement to the Minnesota publication, saying she was “disappointed” the governor-elect chose not to join Trump and his other newly-elected colleagues on Thursday.

 “I’m disappointed that Gov.-elect Walz chose not to join 13 of his newly-elected colleagues — Democrats and Republicans alike — for a meeting with President Trump today in Washington,” Neu said in the report. “Minnesota needs a strong relationship with our partners at the federal level — including President Trump — as we work on issues like health care, infrastructure, combating the opioid epidemic, public safety and more.” 

“I hope Gov.-elect Walz will make it a priority to meet with President Trump in the near future and work to build a productive working relationship with the White House,” she continued. 

Democrats won control of the Minnesota House of Representatives in the recent midterms elections, while Republicans maintained control of the state’s Senate with one seat.