WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has invited rank-and-file House Democrats to lunch with President Donald Trump, bypassing Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders as part of a strategy to peel off centrist and freshman lawmakers to support funding his U.S.-Mexico border wall.

An aide says Pelosi gave lawmakers her blessing to attend Tuesday, telling her leadership team that the group can see what she and others have been dealing with during the shutdown. The aide was not authorized to publicly discuss the private session and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Pelosi and her team have met several times with Trump during the shutdown, now in its 25th day. Trump walked out of their most recent meeting.

Capitol Hill aides say the lawmakers going to the White House include centrist Democrats from districts were Trump is popular, including freshmen.

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