In a Wednesday morning episode of "Fox & Friends," co-host Steve Doocy made the false claim that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) never refused to meet with President Barack Obama.
"I saw a message from one of our producers on Capitol Hill that said that Mitch McConnell said anytime President Obama invited him to the White House, he always showed up," Doocy announced. "This is the first time he could ever remember somebody not showing up for a presidential meeting, particularly something this important, because we're talking about financing the federal government of the United States for another year."
The comment comes from a promise McConnell made Tuesday evening, but the facts don’t back up his declaration.
“I never refused to go to a meeting that President Obama called a bipartisan meeting,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday. “It never occurred to me that I could just say to President Obama, ‘I’m not showing up.’ That strikes me as a lack of seriousness about the matter before us, which is the funding of the federal government of the United States for the rest of this fiscal year.”
In fact, McConnell was criticized by then-House Democratic leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) for allegedly pretending that he was too busy to accept any bipartisan meetings with Obama and Democratic leaders. Hoyer said he was “disappointed." A McConnell spokesperson blamed Obama's White House for announcing the meeting before checking to see if the Republicans were available to meet for it, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.
Former Obama aide Dan Peiffer tweeted out a similar report Tuesday, saying that McConnell would frequently pretend to be "busy" to avoid meeting with Obama.
McConnell would also pretend to be "busy" to prevent a meeting from being scheduled because he didn't want his base… https://t.co/mxNv4LU3BW— Dan Pfeiffer (@Dan Pfeiffer)1511899143.0
“Can confirm,” former deputy chief of staff for Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Adam Jentleson tweeted.
Can confirm. https://t.co/iPa1yRALqo— Adam Jentleson 🎈 (@Adam Jentleson 🎈)1511899303.0
In another 2010 case, McConnell refused to go to a meeting with Obama because he wanted to attend a Federalist Society dinner instead.
The allegations came after President Donald Trump staged a mock-meeting that House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) refused a meeting with Trump.
Watch the full clip of Fox and Friends below via Media Matters: