Tensions were high at the Oval Office as Donald Trump and top Democratic lawmakers, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, clashed over funding for his border wall and the government shutdown in front of the cameras.
The officials raised their voices, pointed fingers and kept interrupting each other during a rare public spat that went on in front of the amazed journalists for more than 16 minutes.
Trump repeatedly warned that he was going to shut down the government if his project of a wall on the US-Mexico border doesn’t get $5 billion in funding next year. The Democrats have so far been only willing to allocate $1.3 billion so that president could fulfill his campaign promise.
“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck,” Trump said, adding that the Americans didn’t want criminals and terrorists crossing into the country.
“We believe you shouldn’t shut it down,” Senate Minority Leader Schumer said and was fully backed by House Democratic Leader Pelosi.
The two Democrats told Trump that there was no support for the wall in either the Senate or the House, but he disagreed.
Schumer also informed the president that “elections have consequences.” Trump, however, refused to be lectured and parried by saying: “And that’s why the country is doing so well.”
Pelosi, meanwhile, made an attempt to move the debate behind closed doors, but it was rejected by the head of state.
“That’s not bad, Nancy. It’s called transparency,” Trump said.
The meeting at the White House might’ve been entertaining, but the unwillingness of the sides to make any concessions is increasing chances of a partial government shutdown already next week.
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