President Donald Trump walked out of meeting with congressional Democratic leaders on Wednesday, according to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.).
"President just got up and walked out. He asked Speaker Pelosi, ‘Will you agree to my wall?' She said no. And he just got up and said ‘Then we have nothing to discuss,' and he just walked out," Schumer said.
The government is on the 19th day of the partial shutdown as Congress and Trump remain at a standoff over funding for a border wall. Trump gave an Oval Office address Tuesday night arguing that there is a crisis along the southern border and that a physical barrier is necessary in order to secure it. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) has called the wall "immoral" and pledged to oppose any funding for it.
At the same time Schumer was speaking, Trump described the meeting on Twitter, calling it "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!" Trump wrote in a tweet.
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
Democrats have argued that the president should agree to signing piecemeal legislation that would fund the various agencies aside from Department of Homeland Security. They argue that after the government is reopened then the debate over border security can happen.
"Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn't get his way and he just walked out of the meeting," Schumer added.
"I asked him to open up the government—that tomorrow, so many people will have trouble paying their mortgages, paying their bills, dealing with situations when they don't get paid, and I said, just ‘why won't you do that? We'll continue to discuss, we're willing to discuss anything.' And he said, ‘If I open up the government, you won't do what I want.' That's cruel. That's callous and that's using millions of innocent people as sort of pawns and it was wrong, and then a few minutes later, he sort of slammed the table, and when leader Pelosi said she didn't agree with the wall, he just walked out and said, we have nothing to discuss. So he said it was a waste of his time," Schumer said.
Pelosi was asked if Trump mentioned the possibility of him declaring a national emergency.
"He didn't talk about that," Pelosi said. "What I will say is that one of the obstacles that we have to an agreement is stipulation of fact. What the president is claiming to be the situation at the border is not solved by a wall, and we have been for border security. We take our oath to protect and defend the American people very seriously, and we had suggestions about how we can do it better than a wall in recognition of what the challenge is there from an immigration and a drugs, et cetera, coming into our country."