A day after claiming the ongoing government shutdown “could be solved in a 45-minute meeting,” President Donald Trump stormed out of a conversation with Democratic leadership after roughly 30 minutes on Wednesday.
Trump later tweeted, “I said bye-bye” to describe his reaction to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refusing to fund his proposed border wall.
House Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) confirmed that the president “slammed the table,” “walked out,” and called the meeting “a waste of his time.”
In Tuesday night’s prime time address on immigration, Trump said it could take as little as 45 minutes to get the government re-opened.
Following Wednesday’s contentious meeting, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters that Republicans have “been working in good faith” during recent negotiations, but claimed “the answer in all of this from the Democrats is we will not negotiate.”
After a reporter asked the vice president how Trump storming out of Wednesday’s meeting helped negotiations, Pence again pivoted to insisting Democrats weren’t operating “in good faith” and said “we hope they will come back to the table.”
Trump’s rhetoric regarding the government shutdown and his long-desired border wall has been especially erratic in recent weeks.
On December 11, the president declared, “I will be the one to shut it down, I am not going to blame you for it” to Pelosi and Schumer in the White House.
Ten days later — after pressure from conservative media forced him to change course on supporting the government funding bill that had been passed unanimously by the Senate — Trump tweeted, “The Democrats now own the shutdown!” even though Republicans still controlled both chambers of Congress at the time.
Democrats passed a spending bill upon taking control of the House last week that is nearly identical to the one the Senate approved before Trump changed his mind. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has indicated he will no longer support the legislation he recently voted for.
Trump and his administration’s top officials have repeatedly misrepresented federal policies and smeared immigrants in an attempt to justify a border wall, despite the fact that border-crossing attempts are at a historic low and have been in steady decline since 2000.
The president’s rhetoric about a “crisis at the border” was thrown into further doubt on Monday when NBC News reported that only six immigrants in a database of “known or suspected” terrorists have been caught trying to cross into the U.S. The White House had previously claimed that number was around 4,000.
However, the president is reportedly still considering declaring a national emergency at the Mexico border so he can obtain funding for his long-desired wall without having to go through Congress.
Trump has said the government shutdown could go on for months or over a year if he doesn’t receive the necessary funding for his wall.