(Added phone call, White House statement)

WASHINGTON, Dec.20 (Reuters) – U.S. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin on Monday said White House staff had done “inexcusable” things that contributed to their decision to publicly reject President Joe’s social and climate policy plan Biden.

Manchin made the comments during an interview with West Virginia MetroNews radio station, after telling Fox News on Sunday that he could not vote for the nearly $ 2 trillion Build Back Better bill.

Manchin said he wouldn’t say the “real reason” talks failed. But when asked what it was, he said, “At the end of the day, it’s … it’s staff. It’s purely staff. … It’s not the president, it’s the staff. “

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on Sunday that Manchin’s halt to negotiations on the bill would represent a “sudden and inexplicable turnaround in his position and a violation of his commitments to the bill. president and the senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate. A Manchin aide called the White House minutes before Senator Fox’s interview, people familiar with the matter said. White House staff were unable to reach him directly in response. (Reporting by Caitlin Webber and Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Tim Ahmann, Heather Timmons and Jonathan Oatis)

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.