Trump Walks Out On Government Shutdown
President Donald Trump has walked out of a meeting with congressional leaders as talks to end the partial government shutdown remain at an impasse. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at Wednesday’s White House meeting whether she would agree to fund his wall on the southern border with Mexico.
When she said “no”, Schumer said, Trump got up and said: “Then we have nothing to discuss.” Schumer added: “And he just walked out”, the Democrat branding the President’s actions “really, really unfortunate”.
Trump called the meeting “a total waste of time”. He tweeted that once Ms Pelosi rejected his border wall, he “said bye-bye, nothing else works!”
Vice-President Mike Pence said Democrats were “unwilling to even negotiate” an end to the partial government shutdown and the standoff over the wall.
Pence spoke outside the West Wing after the contentious meeting, saying: “I think the president made his position very clear today that there will be no deal without a wall.”
Pence said Trump asked Ms Pelosi whether she would be willing to agree to funding for a wall or a barrier on the southern border if he re-opened the government quickly. Pence said: “When she said ‘no’, the president said ‘goodbye’.”
Schumer said Trump had a “temper tantrum”. Pence said of the President: “I don’t recall him ever raising his voice.”
The meeting comes a day after President Trump made a televised plea for border wall funding as he declared there is “a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul”.
Addressing the nation from the Oval Office for the first time, Trump argued for funding on security and humanitarian grounds as he sought to put pressure on newly empowered Democrats amid an extended partial US government shutdown.
He told the country: “This is a humanitarian crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul. Last month 20,000 migrant children were illegally brought into the United States – a dramatic increase. These children are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs.
“One in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up from Mexico. Women and children are the biggest victims by far of our broken system.” In the eight-minute address, Trump also described the border as a “pipeline” for drugs and listed crimes committed in the US by “illegal aliens”.
“How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?” he said. Trump, who has long railed against illegal immigration at the border, has recently seized on humanitarian concerns to argue there is a broader crisis that can only be solved with a wall along the US-Mexico border.
But critics say the security risks are overblown and his administration is at least partly to blame for the humanitarian situation. The President has been discussing the idea of declaring a national emergency to allow him to circumvent Congress and move forward with the wall.
But he made no mention of such a declaration on Tuesday night.
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