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Republicans slam Walz for skipping Presidential meeting

Bi-partisan group of new governors visited the White House Thursday.

Posted: Dec 14, 2018 4:02 PM
Updated: Dec 14, 2018 4:05 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov.-elect Tim Walz did not attend a meeting between a bipartisan group of new governors and President Donald Trump in Washington Thursday, drawing some criticism from Republicans.

The six-term Democratic congressman stayed in Minnesota this week to meet with transition staff and advisers, even as newly-elected Democratic counterparts from Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan visited the White House.

Walz has criticized Trump's handling of veterans issues, but spokeswoman Kayla Castaneda said political disagreements had nothing to do with Walz not making the trip.

"He's not going because he's in Minnesota conducting interviews and doing transition business," she said. "He's busy building the executive branch."

The work includes vetting at least 1,500 applicants for appointed positions in state government, including 500 applicants for 23 state commissioner posts.

Trump invited governors-elect to meet with him and members of his Cabinet to discuss workforce development, infrastructure, the opioid crisis and other topics. Thirteen newly elected governors attended Thursday's meeting, including Tony Evers, a Wisconsin Democrat, and Kristi Noem, a South Dakota Republican.

Republican leaders in the Minnesota House criticized Walz for skipping the meeting.

"Minnesota needs a strong relationship with our partners at the federal level — including President Donald Trump," said Rep. Anne Neu, a Republican from North Branch and the incoming deputy House Republican leader. She said she hoped Walz would make it a priority to meet with Trump in the near future "and work to build a productive working relationship with the White House."

Kansas' incoming Democratic governor, Laura Kelly, also opted out of the White House meeting. Her staff said she stayed in Topeka to work on the state budget and her transition into office. The Kansas City Star reported .

Powered by surging turnout in Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs, Minnesota Democrats held on to the governor's office and unexpectedly swept back into power in the state House during the November election. Republicans retain a one-seat majority in the state Senate.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 62993

Reported Deaths: 1731
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin19873842
Ramsey7827270
Dakota4610106
Anoka3841115
Stearns292820
Washington222748
Olmsted179123
Nobles17777
Scott163422
Mower11112
Rice10468
Blue Earth9465
Wright9185
Carver8993
Clay79440
Sherburne75310
Kandiyohi7141
St. Louis62120
Todd4302
Lyon4263
Watonwan3671
Freeborn3611
Nicollet35613
Steele3562
Benton3253
Winona26616
Beltrami2640
Crow Wing25214
Le Sueur2301
McLeod2240
Martin2105
Chisago2091
Goodhue2059
Otter Tail2044
Cottonwood1780
Becker1621
Pipestone1589
Polk1564
Waseca1561
Carlton1470
Itasca14612
Douglas1442
Isanti1370
Unassigned13546
Dodge1310
Pine1290
Murray1251
Chippewa1171
Morrison941
Wabasha930
Brown922
Faribault920
Meeker872
Rock860
Sibley862
Koochiching833
Cass802
Jackson790
Pennington751
Mille Lacs733
Fillmore720
Renville675
Lincoln610
Grant563
Swift561
Roseau530
Yellow Medicine530
Pope480
Houston450
Aitkin411
Norman400
Kanabec372
Redwood370
Hubbard360
Wilkin353
Marshall290
Wadena280
Mahnomen271
Big Stone250
Red Lake240
Lake220
Stevens180
Clearwater140
Traverse130
Lac qui Parle80
Cook50
Lake of the Woods40
Kittson30

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 50230

Reported Deaths: 955
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10612210
Woodbury377052
Black Hawk320066
Linn245689
Johnson213820
Dallas193235
Buena Vista180012
Scott176815
Dubuque173431
Marshall145627
Pottawattamie136729
Story118915
Wapello93435
Muscatine86048
Webster8498
Crawford7393
Cerro Gordo65617
Sioux6533
Warren5861
Tama55729
Jasper48427
Wright4821
Plymouth47912
Clinton4344
Dickinson3844
Louisa37814
Washington30510
Boone2723
Franklin25512
Hamilton2551
Bremer2337
Clarke2063
Clay2021
Carroll2012
Des Moines1992
Emmet1934
Shelby1881
Hardin1860
Marion1830
Floyd1673
Benton1621
Jackson1601
Poweshiek1608
Allamakee1584
Mahaska14217
Henry1404
Guthrie1385
Buchanan1351
Cedar1351
Jones1352
Butler1312
Lee1294
Madison1282
Hancock1242
Humboldt1241
Delaware1231
Lyon1232
Pocahontas1212
Harrison1131
Cherokee1101
Clayton1093
Winneshiek1021
Page1000
Taylor1000
Iowa981
Kossuth970
Mills941
Monona920
Winnebago920
Palo Alto910
Fayette900
Calhoun872
Cass871
Jefferson870
Sac860
Osceola850
Grundy831
Union811
Mitchell800
Monroe758
Lucas734
Worth680
Davis612
Montgomery614
Chickasaw600
Appanoose523
Howard510
Fremont450
Greene420
Keokuk401
Adair380
Van Buren381
Ida330
Audubon291
Decatur270
Ringgold231
Wayne211
Adams170
Unassigned20
Rochester
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