White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway said on Sunday that she believes there are a number of moderate Democrats in the House who are willing to work with President Trump, but that the “radical freshmen” lawmakers are frustrating them and hindering any attempts at bipartisanship.
Specifically referencing Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Conway said the crop of young, far-left lawmakers in Congress are causing “trouble in (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi paradise.”
“There’s a great deal of frustration among rank-and-file members who represent more moderate districts and, frankly, who represent districts that Donald Trump won in 2016. They’re very frustrated,” Conway said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”
Conway added: “They’ve been to the White House. They talk to people like me, quietly, saying they wish the radical freshmen who get all the magazine covers and all the ink and airtime.”
Tlaib and Omar – along with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., — have frequently made front page news since joining Congress in January for their controversial statements and policies, as well as for their vocal criticism of the Trump administration.
House Democrats set out an ambitious agenda with legislation on the kitchen table priorities that helped them win the majority — protecting the Affordable Care Act, imposing new ethics rules — while engaging in aggressive oversight of the Trump administration. Their investigations extend well beyond Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election as they dig into the president’s business dealings and push for Trump’s tax returns.
But with the spotlight comes high-profile setbacks. Democrats splintered over Ocasio-Cortez’s climate change proposal and exposed party divisions over Omar’s comments on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Tlaib stunned some when, on Day One, she told supporters — using an expletive — that the new majority would impeach Trump.
Conway said Sunday that the “invitation is open” to any Democrat who wants to come to the White House to discuss divisive issues like immigration and border security.
“Let’s try to work together. But we have an unserious Congress that is not coming to the table. And the Republicans failed to do their job when they were in charge, no doubt. And Democrats now are failing to come together in the House,” she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.