Trump Storms Out of White House Meeting with Democrats on Shutdown

WASHINGTON — President Trump slammed his hand on a desk and stormed out of a White House assembly with congressional leaders on Wednesday after Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California mentioned she wouldn’t fund a wall alongside the southern border, dramatically escalating the confrontation over the federal government shutdown.

Stunned Democrats emerged from the White House assembly declaring that Mr. Trump had thrown a “temper tantrum.” The president’s allies accused Democrats of refusing to barter. Then he tweeted that the assembly was “a total waste of time.”

The afternoon altercation got here after President Trump appeared to rally nervous Senate Republicans round his technique to maintain elements of the federal government closed till Democrats accede to his demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall.

Emerging from the lunchtime assembly on Capitol Hill, Mr. Trump declared that Republicans had been “totally unified” even when he confronted some questions on “strategy.” Largely, senators signaled that they agreed.

“There was no discussion about anything other than solidarity,” Mr. Trump mentioned.

The president’s defiance, and his obvious success at lining up his restive get together behind him — not less than for now — all however ensures that the deadlock will proceed into the foreseeable future. Democrats reiterated their very own entrenched place on Wednesday, insisting the president finish the shutdown that has affected 800,000 federal employees and rippled via the financial system earlier than settling the border dispute.

Moderate Republicans who entered the room assured that senators had been coalescing round the concept the federal government must be reopened whereas the border safety debate continues left dissatisfied, satisfied that for now, the get together would comply with Mr. Trump perilously additional right into a shutdown with an unsure finish.

A handful of them, together with Cory Gardner of Colorado, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and James Lankford of Oklahoma, pressed Mr. Trump on the mounting impression on federal employees and associated industries of their states. His response was constant.

“I was able to raise the issues that I have with using a shutdown,” Ms. Murkowski mentioned. “He listened and urged that we all stick together.”

For now, not less than, the president’s forceful response within the assembly and on tv, has papered over cracks that threatened to upend his negotiating place.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Republican of West Virginia, who chairs the appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security, mentioned earlier than the lunch assembly that she might doubtlessly help reopening the federal government as talks continued on border safety.

“I mean, I think I could live with that,” Ms. Capito mentioned. She mentioned she anticipated strain from federal staff and voters in her state would solely mount the longer the deadlock drags on. “I’ve expressed more than a few times the frustrations with a government shutdown and how useless it is, so that pressure’s going to build,” she mentioned.

But she apparently didn’t converse forcefully within the non-public lunch with the president.

Nor did Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, who lamented on Wednesday morning that authorities shutdowns “never work” and switch federal employees into “pawns.” Though Senate Republicans had not reached a degree of direct intervention but, he mentioned, “we’re getting pretty close.”

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