Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a chance to end the government shutdown Wednesday afternoon.
And they refused.
Donald Trump walked out of a White House meeting with the congressional leaders in the Situation Room, after they defiantly rejected negotiating with Republicans to reopen the government and support new funding for a border wall.
“Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Trump began the meeting asking Pelosi if she would initiate a vote for border security within 30 days if he signed a bill to reopen the government.
“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?” Trump tweeted.
Pelosi said, “No,” according to Trump, and he left after she declined.
“Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!” the president wrote.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2019
Reporters confirmed after the showdown that Trump literally said, “Bye, Bye,” before immediately exiting the room.
Democrat aide just now: "He actually said BYE BYE before he left. That's word for word what he said."
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) January 9, 2019
The “president just got up and walked out,” Schumer told reporters after the meeting. “He asked Speaker Pelosi, ‘will you agree to my wall?’ She said no. And he just got up, and said, ‘Well we’ve got nothing to discuss.'”
The New York Democrat also reportedly lied to the press, claiming Trump slammed his hand on a table in frustration. His assertion was later refuted by but Vice President Mike Pence and other Republicans who were in attendance of the meeting.
Pelosi called the president“petulant” after the meeting.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News Trump was fully prepared to make a deal and warned that Schumer’s behavior during the conference meeting should have been video recorded.
“I just listened to Senator Schumer,” McCarthy, a California Republican, said. “I know he complained the time that you had cameras in the meeting. I think we need to bring them back. Because what he described the meeting to be is totally different than what took place.”
Trump met with Senate Republicans earlier in the day, saying afterward, “We have a very unified party.”
The president also has said he may declare the border “crisis” a national emergency, which give him the authorization to construct the $5.7 billion wall without wall without relying on Congressional approval.
“I think we might work a deal, and if we don’t I might go that route,” he said.
He has notified congressional leaders last week that the partial government shutdown could last months, even years, if Democrats remain unwilling to stem unvetted foreigners, drugs and criminals from flooding across the southern border.
The president’s meeting with congressional leaders comes a day before his planned trip to the Texas – Mexico border Thursday.