Washington( CNN ) Four red-state Democrats rejected President Donald Trump’s invitation to attend his Supreme Court nominee announcement Monday night at the White House, according to their offices.
“Sen. Heitkamp was invited but isn’t able to attend tonight, ” her spokesperson said in a statement. “She has become clear — as she said to the President in person two weeks ago — that she considers fully vetting Supreme court nominees one of the most important point tasks of any U.S. senator, and she plans to fulfill that critical duty.”
Manchin’s spokesperson also said he wasn’t planning to attend and the senator told later in a tweet that he appreciated the invitation from Trump .
“I appreciate the President inviting me to attend tonight’s announcement at the WH, ” Manchin said in the tweet. “I look forward to meeting the nominee in a put where we can discuss his or her experience, judicial philosophy& perspective on access to healthcare for WVians with pre-existing conditions.”
The Trump administration is courting red-state Democrat in an attempt to win over enough senators to confirm whomever the President chooses to replace Anthony Kennedy, who announced he is retiring .
Heitkamp, Donnelly and Manchin were the three Democratic senators who voted for Trump’s last Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, who replaced the late Antonin Scalia on the bench in 2017.
The senators have stayed mum on whether they’re planning to support Trump’s nominee, saying they’ll delayed until after he announces to weigh in .
One red-state Democratic senator up for re-election this year — Sen. Jon Tester of Montana — told reporters on Monday that he was not invited to the White House for Monday’s ceremony, but added he’s is accessible to voting to one of the nominees .
Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a key Republican vote, was also invited to the White House but is not running, she said Monday. She would not comment on any of the finalists to reporters .