White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Wednesday that President Donald Trump has done more for bipartisanship in the last eight days than former President Barack Obama did during his eight years in office.
Sanders was referring to the president striking a deal with Democratic leadership last week to keep the government funded and raise the debt ceiling, a move that reportedly left members of his own party furious. On Wednesday evening, Trump planned to have dinner with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). He did not invite Republican congressional leaders.
Despite Sanders’ claim, recent polls have shown that American voters believe the president is fueling divisiveness. In June, a Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey found that 59 percent of likely voters believe America has become more divided during the Trump presidency. Last month, a national poll conducted by Quinnipiac University found that 62 percent of voters believe Trump is doing more to drive divisiveness among Americans.
When later pressed on her claim that Trump had done more for bipartisanship than had Obama, Sanders said she was basing her assertion on the president’s decision to sit down with Democratic leaders.
“He’s actually willing to sit down with members of the opposite party, something that President Obama rarely did, and certainly didn’t listen to members of the opposite party,” Sanders said. “I can’t think of a single time where he made a deal with anybody from the opposite side of ― from anybody beyond the Democrat Party.”
A report from Mic points out a number of times Obama worked with Republican leaders during his presidency, which overlapped with six years of a GOP-controlled House and two years of a GOP-controlled Senate.
Check out the exchange in the video above.