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Trump Walks Out Of Meeting With Congressional Leaders


In what Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., described as a "temper tantrum," President Donald Trump walked out of a White House meeting with congressional leaders on Wednesday.

The abrupt departure by Trump purportedly came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., indicated she remains opposed to providing funding for a controversial wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.

Trump claimed in a post on Twitter that he left the meeting after Pelosi said she would still not support funding the wall if he agreed to reopen the government.

"Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time," Trump tweeted. "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!"

Schumer's recollection of the events also included Pelosi saying "no" to funding the wall but did not reference Trump asking about her position if he agreed to end the government shutdown first.

"We have nothing to discuss," Schumer quoted Trump as saying, later adding that the president called the meeting a "waste of time."

Schumer said Trump expressed unwillingness to open the government because then Democrats would not give him what he wants, which the Democratic leader called "cruel" and "callous" and evidence the president is using federal workers as pawns.

Pelosi also accused the president of being insensitive to financial hardships faced by federal workers impacted by the government shutdown.

"He thinks maybe they could just ask their father for money," Pelosi said, referencing money given to Trump by his father. "But they can't."

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence criticized Democratic leaders as unwilling to even negotiate on the issue of border security.

The brief meeting between Trump and congressional leaders came after the president met with members of the Senate Republican caucus at the Capitol

Trump and Senate Republicans expressed solidarity on the issue of funding the border wall after the meeting.

"There was no discussion about anything other than solidarity," Trump told reporters after the meeting "We want national security and border security for our country."

Trump claimed Republicans are "totally unified" behind his demand for $5.7 billion in funding for the border wall in order to end the government shutdown.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., confirmed all Senate Republicans are "behind the president," calling the issue of border security "extremely important to the country."

The meeting between Trump and Senate Republicans came after the president's national address and the Democratic response last night showed the two sides remain dug in on their positions over the wall.

Trump stopped short of declaring the situation on the border a national emergency during his address but claimed he has the "absolute right" to do so in remarks to reporters ahead of the meeting.

The president suggested he would only take the step of declaring a national emergency in order construct the wall if he cannot reach a deal with Democrats.

(Photo: Michael Vadon)

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