During a meeting Trump held with lawmakers over gun control, a notable key figure was missing; the White House had excluded Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) from the meeting about a response to the shooting despite the fact that the shooting happened in the senator's own state.
After the Parkland, Florida shooting claimed the lives of 17 students and faculty members, the gun control debate was re-sparked and a deep divide around the gun control issue manifested itself. Over the past two weeks, lawmakers from across the nation have been pressured to confront the issue and consider preventative measures to reduce shootings.
Many events have been held to support discussion about gun control, including a bipartisan meeting in the White House between President Trump and lawmakers.
Sen. Nelson, who is up for re-election next year and faces the threat of a potential challenge from Rick Scott, Florida's Republican governor, was not on the White House list of invited personnel.
Other key figures did make it on to the list. Florida's other Senator, Marco Rubio (R), had appeared on the list. A number of other House members from Florida also appeared on the list, including Republican Representatives John Rutherford, Brian Mast, and Democratic Representatives Ted Deutch and Stephanie Murphy. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennesee), who is running for the Senate in her state, was also on the 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 said to ABC News.
While spokespeople for the White House have yet to make a response, an aide has already publicly claimed that the decision to exclude Nelson from the meeting was “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.
It has been reported that president Trump has been pushing Scott to enter the race against Nelson.
A race between Nelson and Scott is expected to be a tough battle. If the race were to happen, it is anticipated that it would be the most expensive Senate race in the country this fall.
Last Week, Deutch, Rubio, and Nelson were part of the CNN town hall where they faced questions about gun control measures.
On Wednesday, Nelson, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) and Democratic Senators Chris Murphy (Connecticut) and Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) sent a letter to Trump urging him to support the establishment of more strict gun control laws.
President Trump has announced that he would be in support of banning gun accessories like bump stops and raising the purchasing age to 21.
H/T: The Hill