Trump calls latest meeting with Democrats 'a total waste of time'


President Trump slammed Democratic leaders on Wednesday after a meeting at the White House to negotiate an end to the partial government shutdown finished abruptly, calling it a "total waste of time."

"Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time," Trump tweeted minutes after meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

"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?" he continued. "Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!"

Republican and Democratic leaders offered differing accounts of how the meeting — which lasted for roughly a half-hour — quickly turned sour.

"It's cold out here and the temperature was not much warmer in the Situation Room," Pelosi told reporters outside the White House.

Schumer said Trump "sort of slammed the table" in the Situation Room and walked out as talks fell apart.

"He couldn't get his way and he just walked out of the meeting," Schumer said.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Trump offered a piece of candy to each attendee at the start of the discussion, and denied that the president slammed the table.

Vice President Pence confirmed Trump's account of the meeting's abrupt end to reporters, saying the president "said goodbye" after Pelosi spurned his request for a border wall.

"The president made clear today he is going to stand firm to achieve his priorities," Pence said while standing alongside GOP leaders.

Republicans and members of the administration emerging from the White House attempted to pin blame on Democrats for refusing Trump's continued demand for border wall money.

“We heard once again that Democratic leaders are unwilling to even negotiate," Pence said, adding that the meeting was "very short."

Pelosi, returning to the Capitol, called Trump a "petulant president" who's made an agreement all but impossible with uncompromising demands.

"The president stomped out of the meeting when he said to me, 'Will you support a wall?' And I said no," Pelosi said. "Now they're trying to mischaracterize what he actually said. But that's par for the course with going to the White House."

"You cannot come to a conclusion if the president of the United States says 'my way or the highway, there's nothing to negotiate, either agree with me or it's over.' "

Pelosi said Democrats intend to push through with their plan to send four separate spending bills to the Senate over the next three days.

"How pathetic is his argument if he doesn't have confidence that he can prevail in the negotiation if he has to shut down the government to strengthen his hand," she said.

Trump met with congressional leaders at the White House to discuss border security following his prime-time address the previous night where he made his case for the money.

The president said in those remarks from the Oval Office that the partial shutdown “could be resolved in a 45-minute meeting,” but the two sides appeared even more deeply entrenched following Wednesday’s talks.

Trump's demand for billions of dollars in funding to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has been a sticking point in negotiations to reopen a quarter of the federal government.

The president has demanded $5.7 billion for the wall, while Democrats have offered money only for other border security measures. The House passed a bill last week to reopen to the government that didn't include money to fund Trump's wall.

Trump indicated Wednesday that he may declare a national emergency to direct construction of the wall. Democrats have questioned whether Trump has the legal standing to make such a move.

Pence told reporters outside the White House on Wednesday afternoon that an emergency declaration is still under consideration, but that it's Trump's "strong belief" that "Congress should just do its job."

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