President Trump abruptly stormed out of a White House meeting with congressional leaders on Wednesday aimed at resolving the partial government shutdown, later calling the huddle “a total waste of time.”
“Just left a meeting with Chuck [Schumer] and Nancy [Pelosi], a total waste of time,” Trump tweeted. “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,” Trump said. “I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”
Speaking outside the White House, Sen. Schumer (D-New York) and Rep. Pelosi (D-California) confirmed the details of the fiery sitdown that suddenly went south after Pelosi rebuffed Trump’s ultimatum on border wall funding.
“He couldn’t get his way and he just walked out of the meeting,” said Schumer. “[Trump] slammed the table … He just walked out and said, ‘We have nothing to discuss.’”
As the shutdown grinds towards its 20th day on Thursday — and federal workers are supposed to get paid on Friday — Schumer called Trump’s refusal to cave “cruel [and] callous.”
GOP lawmakers who were present confirmed the narrative of the meeting, but disputed that Trump lost his cool, with Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) describing the president as “calm” and denying that he slammed a table.
Neither Trump nor Democratic leaders have yielded throughout the nearly three-week closure.