by Daveda Gruber:
On Tuesday President Trump sparred with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in the Oval Office with cameras catching the action.
Vice President Mike Pence was also in attendance.
The president was firm that he’s willing to let the government shut down if Congress doesn’t approve funding for his U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Trump said, “If we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government.”
Trump allowed the press to attend the start of the meeting which meant that the public was able to see and hear the start of the meeting.
In a back and forth with Trump and Pelosi, Trump repeated over a few times that his party is limited in what it can do because it will take Democratic support to pass anything through the Senate.
Schumer escalated his voice as he claimed the Senate could pass measures to keep the government running.
Trump reiterated, “If it’s not good [on] border security, I won’t take it.”
Pelosi and Schumer continually recommended that the president take the meeting private.
Pelosi said, “I don’t think you should have a debate in front of the press.”
Later Schumer said, “Let’s debate in private.”
Trump stated he’s “proud to shut down the government for border security” and will “take the mantle.”
Pelosi said, “this has spiraled downwards.”
The meeting broke up about a half-hour after the cameras shut down.
The public dispute leaves a vague view on whether the two sides can come to an agreement to keep the government running before a Dec. 21 deadline.
Trump wants $5 billion for the project, while Democrats are offering $1.3 billion for border security.
Before the meeting Trump had threatened to have the military “build the remaining sections” of the wall if Congress doesn’t deliver the funding.
Trump and Schumer also exchanged shots over recent midterm elections.
Schumer said, “Elections have consequences, Mr. President.”
Trump quickly shot back, “And that’s why the country is doing so well.”
Schumer couldn’t resist putting down Trump over boasting that Republicans kept control of the Senate.
Schumer said, “When a president brags that he’s won Indiana and North Dakota, he’s in real trouble.”
“We did!” Trump came back with “We did win.”
After the meeting was over, Pelosi and Schumer indicated that they won’t budge on border wall funding.
Schumer told reporters outside the West Wing, “This temper tantrum that he seems to throw will not get him his wall, and it’ll hurt a lot of people, because he will cause a shutdown.”
The Democrats said, “Republicans still control the House, the Senate and the White House, and they have the power to keep government open. Our country cannot afford a Trump Shutdown.
Trump “knows full well that his wall proposal does not have the votes to pass the House and Senate and should not be an obstacle to a bipartisan agreement.”
Pelosi, told reporters afterwards claiming they left things “in a pretty good place.”
Schumer and Pelosi put out a statement, “We gave the president two options that would keep the government open. It’s his choice to accept one of those options or shut the government down.”
The White House put out a statement after the meeting saying “major disagreement remains on the issue of border security and transparency,” despite their “constructive dialogue.”
Trump said on Friday that Congress should provide all the money he wants for the wall and called illegal immigration a “threat to the well-being of every American community.”
Pelosi and Schumer have tried to urge Trump to support a bill that includes six government funding bills that are largely agreed upon by lawmakers.
That would include a separate measure that funds the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through Sept. 30.
Will there be a ‘Government Shutdown’ or as the Dems call it, “A Trump Shutdown”? Your guess is as good as mine.