Gov. John Bel Edwards is the only Democrat invited to President Trump’s first state dinner
WASHINGTON — It appears Democratic leaders in Congress were left off the guest list for President Donald Trump’s first state dinner at the White House on Tuesday. Still, at least one Democratic politician was invited — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and his wife are set to attend the dinner, his office confirmed.
On Monday, representatives for the top four Democratic leaders in Congress — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer — told CNN that their offices did not receive an invitation to the dinner with the French president.
Politico first reported Sunday no congressional Democrats were invited to the event which honors French President Emanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte. The dinner will be a scaled-down event compared to state dinners in past administration. CNN has reached out to the White House for confirmation that no congressional Democrats have been invited to the dinner and have not yet received a response.
While it’s not common for presidents to invite large swaths of members of the opposing party to state dinners, past presidents have invited a few prominent names because of their work on issues related to the guest of honor, or the White House was courting them to support an agenda item.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan will be attending Tuesday night’s event, according to spokeswoman AshLee Strong. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was invited, according to spokesman David Popp, but will not be able to attend.
In February 2014, then-President Barack Obama hosted then-French President Francois Hollande for a state dinner and invited a few members of the opposing party, including Republican Rep. Eric Cantor, who was the House Majority Leader at the time. Republican Reps. Paul Ryan, Harold Rogers of Kentucky and Ed Royce of California also attended, along with Republican Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee.