President Trump sought to ease the concerns of conservative lawmakers skeptical of his recent efforts to work with Democrats, saying Wednesday some of the best legislation passed was done so with bipartisan support.
"Well, I'm conservative and, I will tell you, I'm not skeptical. And I think that if we can do things in a bipartisan manner, that will be great," Trump told reporters before a meeting at the White House with Republican and Democratic lawmakers when asked for his message to conservatives.
The president is hosting Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at the White House for dinner Wednesday night to discuss their agenda, including the Dream Act, which is legislation that protects young illegal immigrants from deportation, as well as a government funding bill, and stabilization of the health insurance markets.
The dinner is the second bipartisan meal the president has hosted this week as he moves forward with his fall agenda.
Trump shocked Republicans last week when he cut a deal with Schumer and Pelosi tying funding for disaster relief with a three-month suspension of the debt ceiling and an extension of government funding.
Though many GOP lawmakers ultimately backed the bill, which Trump signed Friday, his willingness to work with the two Democratic leaders raised concerns that the president may turn to Democrats to enact components his agenda.
But Trump said while he is ready now to try his hand at bipartisanship, he's more than willing to forge ahead without Democrats should their relationship sour.
"Now, it might not work out, in which case, we'll try and do them without. But I think if we can do, in a bipartisan manner — if you look at some of the greatest legislation ever passed, it was done on a bipartisan manner. And so that's why we're going to give it a shot. Right, Tom?" Trump said, referencing Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y. "And we'll see what we can do. And if it works out, great. And if it doesn't work out, great. Hopefully, we'll be able to do it anyways — Republicans."