Things Just Got Crazy Heated in the Oval Office

Trump, Pelosi, Schumer argue about the border wall
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2018 12:38 PM CST
Updated Dec 11, 2018 1:05 PM CST

President Trump dug in his heels on Twitter about his proposed border wall Tuesday morning. Then he dug in his heels again, hard, this time in the Oval Office and on camera. "Trump, Pelosi And Schumer Got Into A Big Fight About The Wall On Live TV" is how BuzzFeed News puts in a headline. Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi met with Trump to discuss Trump's $5 billion funding request, and the meeting wasn't supposed to be a televised one. But BuzzFeed reports the president invited reporters and cameras in and an argument ensued, with the president saying:

  • "If we don’t get what we want, one way or another … I will shut down the government. And I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck." "So I will take the mantle," Trump continued, "I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it. The last time you shut it down, it didn’t work. I will take the mantle and we’ll shut it down."
  • Schumer's response: "We believe you shouldn’t shut it down."

  • The AP reports the meeting lasted not even 30 minutes, with NBC News reporting that Pelosi asked that the meeting not continue in front of the press. "This is spiraling downward," she said. "It's called transparency," Trump replied.
  • Politico recounts another exchange with Pelosi, where she responded to Trump's comment that she's "in a situation where it's not easy to talk right now"—a reference to her continued bid to secure the House speakership in January—by "icily" saying, "Please don’t characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting."
  • Reuters calls it "a remarkable public argument, the likes of which is seldom seen before cameras." Schumer referred to it afterward as a "temper tantrum." CNBC quotes Schumer as also saying, "“The bottom line is simple. The president made clear that he wants a shutdown."
  • Government funding for some agencies is due to expire Dec. 21. The GOP needs to have Democrats on board in order to pass spending legislation in the Senate, as 60 votes are required. Reuters reports the Dow fell on Trump's threat of a shutdown; as of this writing, it's down 175 points.
(Trump said earlier Tuesday that deal or no deal, "the wall will get built.")

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