President Donald Trump walked out of a meeting with top Democratic lawmakers over the partial government shutdown Wednesday, saying that it was “a total waste of time.”
One day after saying the shutdown could be resolved with a “45-minute meeting,” Trump sat down with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in the White House Situation Room.
But after a half hour, he walked out, tweeting that he “said bye-bye” after Pelosi said she would not approve a border security measure if it includes a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.
Speaking shortly after the meeting, Pelosi and Schumer criticized Trump’s behavior at the meeting.
“Unfortunately, the President just got up and walked out,” Schumer told reporters. “He asked Speaker Pelosi if she would fund his wall and she said ‘no’ and he said, ‘Well then, we have nothing to talk about.’ And got up and walked out.”
Vice President Mike Pence said Trump “called the question” during the meeting, using the legislative term for putting an issue up for a vote.
“When she said no, the President said goodbye,” he said.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, disputed Schumer and Pelosi’s version of events, saying that Trump offered everyone candy and turned the floor over to the two Democrats, whom he said offered nothing.
“The President then turned to the Speaker and politely asked her, OK, Nancy if we open the government up in 30 days, could we have border security. She raised her hand and said, ‘No, not at all,’” he said.
McCarthy said the Democratic lawmakers’ behavior “is embarrassing to me,” and argued that their version of events was “disturbing.” He called on them to “get back into the room” to negotiate.