The back-and-forth between the President and Democratic leadership today reached a tawdry new low when Trump appeared before the press seated beside two empty chairs labeled with placeholders for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
The pathetic stunt was in response to the Democratic Leaders refusing to attend a scheduled bipartisan meeting with Trump after the president attacked them on Twitter and signaled that the talks would be fruitless. Rather than waste their time, Pelosi and Schumer canceled the meeting, electing instead to meet with Republicans in Congress.
Trump originally tweeted:
Meeting with “Chuck and Nancy” today about keeping government open and working. Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2017
Pelosi and Schumer responded with an official statement:
In wake of Pres. Trump’s tweet, Pelosi and Schumer will no longer attend bipartisan leader White House meeting today: pic.twitter.com/ZxwqoW2L0x
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) November 28, 2017
The statement, in turn, precipitated Trump’s chair gimmick:
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 28, 2017
Now, Nancy Pelosi has responded to Trump’s stunt. She took to Twitter to slam the president, calling him out for his verbal abuse and correctly pointing out that the chair incident proves Trump is more interested in theatrics than actual governance.
Mitch McConnel (R-KY) and Paul Ryan (R-WI) were also caught in the crossfire, with Pelosi pointing out that they were simply props in Trump’s gimmick. She punctuated her tweet with a “Sad!” meant to mock one of Trump’s favorite Twitter signoffs:
.@realDonaldTrump now knows that his verbal abuse will no longer be tolerated. His empty chair photo opp showed he’s more interested in stunts than in addressing the needs of the American people. Poor Ryan and McConnell relegated to props. Sad!
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) November 28, 2017
Now more than ever we need courageous leaders like Pelosi to stand up to Trump’s hostility and constant attacks on American democracy. If he wants to conduct himself like an unpresidential boor, he deserves to be treated as such. His uncivility and regressive agenda cannot go unanswered, and Pelosi is proving more than up to the challenge.