Government & Politics

Top Missouri officials say they were disinvited from Trump roundtable in St. Louis

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump

Top Missouri officials say they have been disinvited from a roundtable with President Donald Trump this week in St. Louis.

Trump will make his third trip to Missouri in less than a year Wednesday when he holds an economic roundtable at Boeing’s facility in St. Louis and then participates in a fundraiser for Attorney General Josh Hawley’s Senate campaign.

The White House on Friday had listed Hawley and three other Republican statewide officialsas participants in the roundtable, but on Monday a White House official said no Missouri elected officials would be attending the event, including Hawley.

The White House official blamed the earlier information on miscommunication and said the GOP officials will be attending the Hawley fundraiser rather than the earlier economic forum, which will focus on the impact for workers from Trump’s tax cuts.

Gov. Eric Greitens, who faces a criminal trial in May, was notably absent from the list of participants initially provided by the White House.

Ward Franz, chief of staff for Lt. Gov. Mike Parson's office, told The Star Monday morning that the lieutenant governor would be taking part in Wednesday's roundtable with the president.

Franz later said the office was notified Monday afternoon by the White House that plans had changed and that no elected officials other than the president would be participating.

The same thing happened to Missouri Treasurer Eric Schmitt. His spokesman, Garrett Poorman, said the treasurer was scheduled to attend Wednesday's event but was informed Monday afternoon that the roundtable's format had changed.

The revelation that Parson and Schmitt had been disinvited came after The Star had asked The White House whether Trump would be meeting with Greitens during his visit.

Greitens’ office did not respond to multiple emails and phone calls about Trump’s visit.

Hawley’s campaign did not comment on his absence from the forum after earlier reports that the Senate candidate would be joining Trump there. It also would not comment on the list of attendees for the fundraiser.

Trump endorsed Hawley, the top GOP recruit to take on U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, during a November visit to the state. Hawley will embark on a statewide tour Tuesday ahead of Trump's visit.

Trump's March visit signals the importance of the race to the White House, but the confusion over the list of attendees at the forum also highlights the political perils the president faces campaigning in Missouri at time when the Republican governor faces a criminal indictment.

President Donald Trump launched what he calls a "big week" for his infrastructure plan, which envisions $1.5 trillion in spending over a decade to rebuild roads and highways. The plan would fulfill a key campaign goal but rely heavily on state and