White House excludes Florida Democratic senator from meeting


The White House has excluded Sen. (D-Fla.) from a meeting between and lawmakers from both parties about a legislative response to the high school shooting in his home state.

Nelson, who is up for reelection next year and may be challenged by Rick Scott, Florida’s Republican governor, was not in the White House list of invitees and was conspicuous in his absence.

Florida’s other senator, Republican , did make the cut, as did a number of House members from Florida: GOP Reps. John RutherfordJohn Henry RutherfordMORE and and Democratic Reps. and .

Sen. (R-Tenn.), who is running for the Senate in her state, also was on the invitee list.

“I don’t know why I wasn’t invited. … And of course that doesn’t foster bipartisanship when you’re trying to solve a problem,” Nelson told ABC News.

Spokespeople for the White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

An aide argued that the decision to exclude Nelson from the White House meeting is “all political.”

“The White House is doing everything it can to help Gov. Rick Scott as he prepares to run against Nelson this year. This is just the latest,” the staffer said.

Trump has reportedly been urging Scott to enter the race against Nelson.

If Scott challenges Nelson, it is expected that it could be the most expensive Senate race in the country this fall.

Deutch and Rubio both took part in a CNN town hall with Nelson last week, where they faced questions about Congress’s next steps on gun control in the wake of the school shooting, where 17 people were killed.

Nelson, Senate Minority Leader (D-N.Y.) and Democratic Sens. (Conn.) and (Minn.) sent a letter to Trump on Wednesday urging him to support stricter gun control laws.

Chris Murphy and Klobuchar will attend Wednesday’s White House meeting. Four Democratic senators are invited along with seven Republicans.