Another day, another meeting, a temper tantrum and no progress in the government shutdown. Today’s meeting ended abruptly, but how it ended depends on who you believe. There were no cameras in the room. Here’s what Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said following the brief encounter with Donald Trump:
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. Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn’t get his way and he just walked out of the meeting.
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 will 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 want the wall, he just walked out and said, we have nothing to discuss.
Trump seemed to corroborate a lot of this account on Twitter.
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
Just minutes later though the Vice President and other Republican leaders (minus MIA Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) tried to play clean-up. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said:
In this brief meeting, we heard once again that Democratic leaders are unwilling to even negotiate, to resolve the crisis at our southern border. They demanded once again that before any negotiations could begin that we would have to agree to reopen the government and the president called the question in the meeting, He asked Speaker Pelosi that if he opened things up quickly, 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 good-bye.
By the Republican accounts Trump was sweet as pie or should we say candy.
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 9, 2019
This is day 19 of the shutdown. Donald Trump has backed himself into a corner with no way out. Difficult to be a dealmaker if you’re not in the room.