[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/26/art.kyl.gi.jpg caption="Sens. McConnell and Kyl did not attend a White House briefing."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Although the bipartisan congressional leadership was invited to the White House for an Afghanistan briefing today, the Senate's top two Republicans did not attend.
Aides to both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl said they had scheduling conflicts.
"He had a long schedule meeting with multiple senators here [on Capitol Hill] and we didn't get the invite to the White House until late yesterday afternoon," said McConnell spokesman Don Stewart, who also said the senator attended a separate briefing later in the afternoon at the Capitol.
"Sen. McConnell, in cooperation with Sen. Reid, asked the White House to schedule the meeting next week," said Stewart. "But late yesterday afternoon, we got a call saying it would be this afternoon. Since he was unable to make the time at the White House, he went to the briefing here at the Capitol."
Kyl spokesman Ryan Patrmintra said he too had previous planned meetings with Senators that he could not change to go to the White House, and said there was "no slight intended."
Patrimintra also said Kyl has received personal briefings on the mission, even as recently as yesterday.