'No slamming!': Trump denies 'tantrum' in shutdown talks
President Trump is disputing Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s assertion that he had a “temper tantrum” before walking out of a meeting on border security with Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the White House Wednesday afternoon.
“Cryin Chuck told his favorite lie when he used his standard sound bite that I ’slammed the table & walked out of the room. He had a temper tantrum,’” Trump tweeted on Thursday morning. “Because I knew he would say that, and after Nancy said no to proper Border Security, I politely said bye-bye and left, no slamming!”
“I don’t have temper tantrums,” Trump later told reporters on the South Lawn before departing for Texas, where he will tour the U.S. southern border. “I did not rant, I did not rave … I didn’t pound the table. That is a lie.”
After the meeting, Schumer said that the president threw a “temper tantrum because he couldn’t get his way.”
“He sort of slammed the table, and when Leader Pelosi said she didn’t agree with the wall, he just walked out and said, ’We have nothing to discuss,’” Schumer said. “He said it was a waste of his time.”
Schumer added: “This was really unfortunate and in my judgment somewhat unbecoming of a presidency.”
Trump is demanding Congress allocate $5.7 billion that would go toward construction of a physical barrier on the U.S. border with Mexico in exchange for reopening the government. Democrats are refusing to do so, and want the government reopened while border negotiations continue.
About 800,000 federal employees, approximately half of whom are working without pay, have been affected by the ongoing shutdown now in its 20th day.
Moments after the White House meeting disintegrated, the president headed to Twitter to vent his frustration.
“Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time,” Trump tweeted. “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!”
The president is heading to McAllen, Texas, on Thursday to showcase what he claims is a humanitarian crisis on the border. Departing the White House, Trump told reporters that he will “maybe definitely” declare a national emergency in order to pay for his border wall.
“I’ll probably will do it, maybe definitely,” the president said.
Hours before their abruptly adjourned sit-down, Schumer and Pelosi appeared alongside nearly two-dozen furloughed government employees at a press conference. The federal workers were asked by reporter to raise their hand if they supported the president’s position on the wall, as Trump has repeatedly claimed. None of them did.
“This is an example of the president being almost delusionary,” Pelosi said. “He says to us, ‘Workers are calling me saying, I’ll stay out without a paycheck, as long as it takes.’ And it’s like, well, who? Give us names.”
Speaking to reporters inside the Oval Office, Trump suggested the support is being expressed to him via social media.
“The beautiful thing is, with social media, the world can write to you,” the president said. “You take a look at social media, so many of those people are saying, ‘It’s very hard for me, it’s very hard for my family, but, Mr. President, you’re doing the right thing.’”
Let us know what you think before the clock runs out.