Talks between President Trump and congressional Democrats aimed at ending the partial government shutdown collapsed in acrimony and disarray Wednesday, with the president walking out of the White House meeting and calling it “a total waste of time” after Democrats rejected his demand for border-wall funding.
Furious Democrats accused Trump of slamming his hand on the table before he exited, and they said he ignored their pleas to reopen the federal government as they continue to negotiate over his border wall demands. With the shutdown nearing the three-week mark, some 800,000 workers are about to miss their first paycheck.
“He thinks maybe they could just ask their father for more money. But they can’t,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), an implicit dig at Trump’s wealthy upbringing.
“Well unfortunately, the president just got up and walked out,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). “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.”
Trump himself tweeted: “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!”
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The breakdown left no end in sight to the shutdown even as its effects spiral around the nation on services for farmers, food inspection services and national parks. Trump ended the day Wednesday even further dug in on his demands for $5.7 billion to build more than 200 new miles of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and Democrats were equally forceful in rejecting his demands. Democrats are refusing to provide more than $1.3 billion to continue existing funding levels for security barriers at the border.
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