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Idaho officials mistake White House invitations for spam

Photo Courtesy: CNN Newsource

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — Some Idaho officials discarded email invitations to visit the White House because they thought they were spam.

All 132 county commissioners and 105 state legislators in Idaho recently received invitations to meet with senior Trump administration officials, the Lewiston Tribune reported.

Rep. Caroline Troy, R-Genesee, said she thought it was a hoax "since it didn't look very official."

Sen. Dan Johnson, R-Lewiston, had a similar story.

"I thought it was a scam, so I deleted it," he said. "Then I got a phone call."

The call was from someone with the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, checking to see if Johnson received the invitation.

The invitation was in fact real and part of a Trump administration "state days" initiative aimed at establishing relationships with elected officials across the country, according to a May 20 story in Politico.

The administration has held at least 14 state gatherings over the past several months, including Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

The meeting with Idaho officials is set for Friday.

"We haven't been provided with an agenda, but from what I understand it's an opportunity for various agency heads to interact with county officials, talk about the programs and priorities of the White House, and offer them a point of contact for the issues they have," said Seth Grigg, executive director of the Idaho Association of Counties.

Grigg said he knows of 15 or 20 county officials who plan to accept the White House offer.

Johnson said the invitation he received was very clear that officials will not be meeting with President Donald Trump. Though other state delegations have had the opportunity to hear from various Cabinet officers, as well as Vice President Mike Pence.

Idaho County Commissioner Skip Brandt said there could be some value in meeting directly with administration officials, but the size of the group makes him skeptical.

"It's not like it's going to be personal," he said. "The invitation went to all county commissioners and all state legislators, and Idaho will be grouped in with Utah. So you're going to be in a meeting with about 300 people. It's hard to justify something like that."

Information from: Lewiston Tribune, http://www.lmtribune.com

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