President Donald Trump rejected an annual invitation to a St. Patrick’s Day lunch posted by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. This is the latest snub of Pelosi by the president since she authorized an inquiry that led to his impeachment. 

The announcement was made by White House officials on Sunday. Trump will be the first president to miss the lunch since President George W. Bush did in 2003. At the moment, the country was on the verge of war with Iraq. The officials attributed Trump’s absence to his unhappiness with the speaker. 

In a statement, Judd Beere a White House spokesperson said, “Since the speaker has chosen to tear this nation apart with her actions and her rhetoric, the president will not participate in moments where she so often chooses to drive discord and disunity.” 

As an alternative, the president will host Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at the White House for their own St. Patrick’s Day celebration. “The relationship between our two countries has never been stronger, and the president looks forward to welcoming the prime minister of Ireland for the annual Shamrock Bowl presentation,” Deere said.

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After the White House announcement, Pelosi’s office responded. Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill said, “There has never been stronger support in the Congress and in the country for the U.S.-Ireland bilateral relationship. One would think that the White House could set petty, partisan politics aside for this historic occasion.”

The St. Patrick’s Day lunch began in 1983 when President Ronald Reagan and Democratic Speaker Thomas O’Neill, both of Irish descent, started the tradition. It became an annual occurrence in 1987, and only four times since then has a president missed it.

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