President Trump won't meet with Democrats to talk gun control

Democratic attorneys general were told to leave time open to talk to Trump; but they were snubbed

By Matthew Rozsa

Published February 27, 2018 1:28PM (EST)

 (Getty/Mike Theiler)
(Getty/Mike Theiler)

Shortly after being humiliated by a Democratic governor on the issue of gun control policy, President Donald Trump avoided another public embarrassment by steering clear of Democratic attorneys general who were scheduled to meet with him about reducing gun violence.

Although Trump's White House had told Democratic attorneys general to clear out part of their Monday schedules so they could meet with the president, Trump instead opted to only meet with two conservative Republicans, according to Politico. Democratic attorneys general from California, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington, D.C. denounced Trump's decision to only listen to Republican voices, during a news conference near the White House on Monday.

"I would have liked to have had a respectful conversation with him, but unfortunately he rescinded that invitation. I would have said, ‘Mr. President, it does not have to be this way, that this is a conscious choice that you and other policymakers make to quite literally do nothing and allow these murders to continue,'" Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro told reporters.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra added, "You don’t have to invent the wheel, Mr. President. There are a whole bunch of us who can tell you how to save lives."

Trump may have been inspired to avoid meeting with Democratic state attorneys general and instead limit himself to meeting with two Republican state attorneys general, as a result of an incident on Monday when he met with governors in the White House. During that time, he was lectured by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, who scoffed at Trump's suggestion of arming teachers by admonishing the president to do "a little less tweeting here, a little more listening."

Trump also embarrassed himself at that press conference by claiming that if he had been outside of the Parkland, Florida high school which was subjected to a mass shooting last week, he would have rushed in "even if I didn’t have a weapon, and I think most of the people in this room would have done that, too."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Attorneys General Donald Trump Florida School Shooting Gun Control Parkland School Shooting