Moments after leaving a meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, President Trump declared on Wednesday that the meeting, which aimed to find a way through the impasse that has kept the government partially closed for more than three weeks, was “a total waste of time.”
Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time. I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2019
Vice President Mike Pence, who attended the Wednesday afternoon meeting with Democratic leadership, reiterated Trump’s characterization of the conversation during a press conference held afterward.
“[Trump] asked Speaker Pelosi, if he reopened the government quickly, would she be willing to agree to funding for a wall or a barrier on the southern border, and when she said ‘no’ the president said ‘goodbye,'” Pence said.
Schumer, addressing reporters on Capitol Hill after the meeting, said the president threw a “temper tantrum” before “slamming the table” and storming out of the meeting.
With negotiations to end the 19-day shutdown seemingly stalled, Trump has resumed his threat to fund the border wall, his signature campaign promise, tby declaring a national emergency.
“I have the absolute right to do national emergency if I want,” Trump told reporters during a White House pool spray Wednesday morning. “My threshold will be if I can’t make a deal with people that are unreasonable.”
While Trump and Pence have repeatedly signaled their resolve to extend the shutdown until they secure $5.7 billion for the construction of a barrier on the southern border, four moderate Senate Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia — have expressed support for the passage of a short-term spending bill that lacks wall funding.