The Hill reports:
A trio of red-state Democratic senators have turned down invitations to attend President Trump’s announcement of his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Democratic Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) were invited but declined to attend the event at the White House at 9 p.m. Monday.
Donnelly said in a statement that he declined so that his first meeting with Trump’s pick will be “in a setting where we can discuss his or her experience and perspectives.”
I appreciate the President inviting me to attend tonight’s announcement at the WH. I look forward to meeting the nominee in a setting where we can discuss his or her experience, judicial philosophy & perspective on access to healthcare for WVians with pre-existing conditions.
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) July 9, 2018