President Trump will skip the St. Patrick’s Day lunch on Capitol Hill this Thursday because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to “drive discord and disunity” have ruined his appetite to attend the annual bipartisan event, the White House said Sunday.
Pelosi, as speaker, hosts Democratic and Republican lawmakers at the luncheon to celebrate relations between the US and Ireland. She invited Trump last month.
“Since the Speaker has chosen to tear this Nation apart with her actions and her rhetoric, the President will not participate in moments where she so often chooses to drive discord and disunity,” White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.
Instead, Trump will welcome Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to the White House for the annual Shamrock Bowl presentation.
Drew Hammill, a Pelosi spokesman, hit back that the White House should put “petty, partisan politics aside for this historic occasion.”
Trump attended the luncheon when Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) was speaker in 2017 and 2018, and last year when Pelosi became speaker after the Democrats regained the House in the 2018 midterm elections.
But their already strained relationship hit rock bottom when the Democrat-majority House voted to impeach the president and Pelosi publicly ripped up a copy of his State of the Union address.
There have only been four occasions when presidents have missed the luncheon since it was first held in 1987, sending their vice presidents on their behalf. But Vice President Pence will also skip it this year.
With Post wires
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