It’s the holiday season in Washington, which means politicians, dignitaries and hangers-on try to elbow themselves into as many exclusive parties as possible.
And 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the hottest ticket of them all.
But Jewish Democratic lawmakers won’t be greeting President Donald Trump with a Chag Sameach at the annual White House Hanukkah Party on Thursday evening.
They insist their feelings aren’t hurt, but an invite would have been nice.
Trump did not invite Jewish members of Congress who are Democrats to the annual White House Hanukkah party, according to six congressional offices.
“I think its an unforced error on the president’s part and a missed opportunity,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston. “Why would you make partisan decisions about invitations that are entirely not partisan? Hanukkah is something that’s important to all Jews; the tradition is to invite the Jewish members of Congress. My feelings certainly aren’t hurt by not being invited but the few opportunities that we do have to come together certainly should include a celebration like Hanukkah.”
While Democrats didn’t get an invite, the two Jewish Republicans in Congress did.
The offices of New York Rep. Lee Zeldin and Tennessee Rep. David Kustoff confirmed they received invitations and will attend.
Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Jewish Republican, was invited to White House Hanukkah parties held by President Barack Obama, according to past press accounts. Cantor and Zeldin were the only Jewish House Republicans who served in Congress during Obama’s administration.
The President’s staff referred questions on the guest list to the First Lady’s office.
“I am not aware of the political affiliation of any of the guests, but I do know that this year was meant to be more personal than political,” said Stephanie Grisham, a spokesman for First Lady Melania Trump.
About 600 invitations were distributed, according to the White House. Grisham said that while the West Wing may release guest lists for meetings and working lunches or dinners, it’s the policy of the social office not to release the guest list for social or holiday events.
Wasserman Schultz, who entered Congress in 2005, said she was always invited to White House Hanukkah parties hosted by President George W. Bush and Obama.
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