- President Donald Trump was reportedly upset after his tense Oval Office meeting with House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday.
- Despite publicly downplaying the video footage of him and the two Democrats debating over the federal budget and funding for the wall Trump wants to build on the US-Mexico border, in private, Trump reportedly flicked a folder, scattering papers all around in a fit of rage.
- Trump was believed to have been particularly angry with Schumer, a fellow New Yorker, who despite being on the other side of the political spectrum, shares a friendly history with the president.
President Donald Trump was reportedly upset after his tense Oval Office meeting with House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday. The revelation comes despite Trump publicly downplaying video footage of him and the two Democrats debating over the federal budget and funding for the wall Trump wants to build on the US-Mexico border.
During a heated meeting in which Trump threatened – and said he’d proudly accept responsibility for – a government shutdown, cameras caught a brief glimpse of the policy negotiations that have slow-walked the president’s plan to secure funding for the wall.
“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck, because the people of this country don’t want criminals, and people that have lots of problems, and drugs pouring into our country,” Trump said during the meeting on Tuesday.
“So I will take the mantle,” Trump added. “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 of shutting it down. And I’m going to shut it down for border security.”
Publicly, Trump said on Tuesday the discussion was conducted in a “friendly manner,” despite protests from his Democratic colleagues in the same room. But behind closed doors, Trump was furious, according to one White House official quoted in a Los Angeles Times report.
After the meeting, Trump reportedly flicked a folder so that papers were strewn around, the official said.
Trump is believed to have been particularly angry with Schumer, a fellow New Yorker, who despite being on the other side of the political spectrum, shares a friendly history with the president.
After being invited by Trump to give a few remarks, Schumer briefly stole the spotlight and delivered an impassioned speech on why a government shutdown would be detrimental.
“The Washington Post today gave you a whole lot of Pinocchios because they say you constantly misstate how much the wall is, how much of the wall is built and how much is there,” Schumer said.
The meeting, which vexed White House aides, was supposed to have been a “quick” photo session between Trump, Pelosi, Schumer, and Vice President Mike Pence, according to sources who communicated with The Times’ White House political analyst Eli Stokols.
Pelosi, who is poised to reclaim her previously held role as speaker of the House after Democrats officially reclaim the majority when lawmakers return to Congress in January, suggested continuing the border-wall debate away from the cameras: “Let us have our conversation and then we can meet with the press again,” she said at one point during the meeting.
In a private meeting with Democratic lawmakers later in the day, Pelosi reportedly described herself as “trying to be the mum” during the discussions and snubbed Trump’s US-Mexico border-wall plan.
“It’s like a manhood thing with him – as if manhood can be associated with him,” Pelosi said, according to Politico. “This wall thing.”
The two Democrats have proposed two alternative plans for Trump, both of which would nix the president’s plans for a border wall. Democrats have offered to Trump $US1.6 billion in border fencing or extending the Department of Homeland Security’s funding to $US1.3 billion.
After the meeting, Schumer and Pelosi released a joint statement saying of Trump: “It’s his choice to accept one of those options or shut the government down.”
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