White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that President Trump in the last eight days has done more for bipartisanship than former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe Hill’s 12:30 Report Obama to host global summit in Chicago Clinton ‘dumbfounded’ by Comey letter days before election MORE did during his two terms as commander-in-chief.
“This president is negotiating on behalf of the American people, exactly what he was elected to do. The idea that you keep trying to distort this into a bad thing is exactly why this president was elected,” Sanders said in response to a question about the president’s upcoming meeting with Democratic leadership.
“They were sick and tired of business as usual, they wanted somebody who would break up the status quo, that would bring people from both sides of the table together to have conversation. This president has done more for bipartisanship in the last 8 days than Obama did in 8 years.”
Trump on Wednesday evening will have dinner at the White House with Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThe Hill’s 12:30 Report GOP braces for Bannon primary attacks Trump’s deal with Schumer, Pelosi should dismay conservatives MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). The Democratic leaders are expected to discuss the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and health care.
The president also met with several red-state Democrats on Tuesday to discuss tax reform.
When pressed as to whether or not she was basing the bipartisanship comment off of the president’s meetings this week, Sanders said Trump is “committed” to working with members of the Democratic Party.
“I’m basing that on the fact he’s actually willing to sit down with members of the opposite party, something that President Obama rarely did and certainly didn’t listen to members of the opposite party,” she said.
“I can’t think of a single time where he made a deal with anyone from the opposite side, from beyond the Democrat Party. This president is committed to do that. He hasn’t just done it once, he’s continuing to do that.”
Trump’s meetings with Democratic lawmakers comes after he shocked Republicans last week by reaching a deal with Democratic leadership to fund the government for three months and raise the debt ceiling. Conservatives had hoped to attach spending reforms to any agreement to raise the debt limit.
– Ben Kamisar contributed to this report.