Trump spars with Schumer and Pelosi

Chuck Schumer Nancy Pelosi

Donald Trump has argued heatedly in public with Democratic leaders and threatened repeatedly to shut down the government if Congress does not provide the money he says is needed to build a wall at the Mexican border.

The former IN congressman's statuesque performance was a contrast to the kinetic scene unfolding around him, another made-for-television moment that allowed the bombastic Republican president to pick a fight with the two Democrats perhaps most reviled by his conservative base on live cable TV.

During the meeting, which was aired by the White House press pool for all of America to see, President Trump debated the Democrat leaders over funding for the border wall.

"I could accept some level of funding because I've said we need border security", Wild said Monday evening, ahead of the dramatic Oval Office encounter with Trump, Pelosi and Schumer.

"We believe you shouldn't shut it down", Schumer said. "If I think it's good for the country, if I think it's good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made - which is a very important thing - what's good for national security, I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary". "I will be the one to shut it down", he declared.

Pelosi later told the group of House Democrats that getting that vow from Trump was "an accomplishment".

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In a joint statement issued Monday evening, Pelosi and Schumer said the country can not afford "a Trump Shutdown" at this time.

"The president is so used to obsequious advisers who fail to dispel his false and made-up facts that he lives in a cocoon of his own truth", Schumer said in a Senate speech.

"When the president brags he has won North Dakota and IN, he's IN real trouble", retorted Schumer with a smile.

Democrats, too, suggested the meeting ended well enough, noting that Trump neither accepted nor rejected their offer to fund the government with up to $1.6 billion for border security, rather than the $5 billion he's been demanding for the wall.

TRUMP to SCHUMER: "I am proud to shut down the government for border security, chuck. Chuck and Nancy must give us the votes to get additional Border Security!"

He says all the right stuff and we're still not gonna get a wall.

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President Trump: "And then we have the easy one, the wall".

Before lawmakers adjourn for the year they also may consider a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill, a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller and a plan to overhaul the system for handling sexual harassment complaints on Capitol Hill. But the session quickly unraveled as he mentioned his promised wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

But Trump wouldn't stop insisting he could get funding for the wall passed through the House - despite Democrats overwhelming majority in the upcoming Congress.

The meeting occurred several hours after House Republicans dug in on their demand for US$5 billion in support of Trump's stance.

They have urged Trump to support a bill that includes a half-dozen government funding bills largely agreed upon by lawmakers, along with a separate measure that funds the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through September 30. "I think Congress should do what the American people want". "He said, 'Donald Trump.' I said, 'I never mentioned your name'".

So will Republicans and Democrats reach an agreement in time to avoid a partial shuttering of the government?

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