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September 22, 2017

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The Latest: White House explains dinner with Dem leaders

Updated Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017 | 12:16 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and Congress (all times local):

2:59 p.m.

Why aren't "Mitch and Paul" invited to President Donald Trump's dinner Wednesday with "Chuck and Nancy?"

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders essentially says there's no need for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan when Trump meets with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

After all, she said, "You've got the leader of the Republican Party sitting at the table" — referring to Trump. The president has taken to calling his recent Democratic visitors by their first names — Chuck and Nancy.

Sanders says Trump has done "more for bipartisanship in the past eight days" than President Barack Obama did during his eight years in office.

Speaking at Wednesday's press briefing, Sanders added that Trump is "committed to working with Democrats" and insisted that Obama wasn't.

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11:28 a.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump will have dinner on Wednesday night with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

The dinner comes as the Republican president has sought to work more closely with the Democratic leaders in Congress to enact his legislative agenda.

Trump reached an agreement with Schumer and Pelosi last week — despite objections from Republicans — on a three-month agreement to raise the debt ceiling, keep the government running and speed hurricane relief to states.

The president has said he's simply doing "what the people of the United States want to see. They want to see some dialogue."