WASHINGTON– President Donald Trump abruptly walked out of a meeting with Congressional leaders Wednesday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told him that she would not support funding the wall along the U.S. Mexico border, even if he took actions to reopen the government.
“Unfortunately, the president just got up and walked out,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters outside the West Wing. “Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn’t get his way and he just walked out of the meeting.”
Trump posted his own account of the meeting on Twitter not long after.
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
The collapse of the latest sit-down between lawmakers and the White House comes as the partial government shutdown marks its 18th day.
Trump has pushed Congress to allocate $5.7 billion for the wall, while Democrats have declined, instead offering $1.3 billion for border security.
Democrats have passed multiple stopgap measures that would reopen the government while talks over border security continue, but Trump has threatened to veto anything that does not address his proposed barrier.
The tension between the two parties appeared to only grow Wednesday.
After the meeting, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters that “Democrats are unwilling to engage in good-faith negotiations.”
“[Trump] is going to stand firm to achieve his priorities,” Pence said.
Descriptions of the meeting also seem to have taken a partisan tone.
Schumer said the president slammed his fists on the table and stormed out of the room in anger.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who stood alongside Pence after,wards denied that Trump pounded his fists or acted out of line, instead stating that it was Schumer who raised his voice and Pelosi who attempted to pick an argument.
“The way they displayed the meeting is embarrassing,” McCarthy said.