A furious President Trump, not getting everything he wants in border negotiations, stormed out of a White House meeting with congressional leaders.
It’s a far cry from candidate Trump who once criticized former President Obama for not negotiating with congressional leaders.
“Problems start from the top, and they have to get solved from the top, and the President’s the leader, and he’s got to get everybody in a room, and he’s got to lead,” Trump said on Fox News in 2013. “And Obama doesn’t do that, he doesn’t like doing that, that’s not his strength. And that’s why you have this horrible situation going on in Washington. It’s a very, very bad thing and it’s very embarrassing worldwide.”
Today, after handing out little mini candy bars and peanut butter cups, Trump sat for just a few minutes before he stood up, said “bye bye” and walked out of the room.
Not exactly the leadership he once lectured about.
Trump confirmed his behavior on Twitter:
Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time. 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? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2019
Vice President Mike Pence told reporters gathered outside the West Wing that Trump had ended the meeting quickly when Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats were not prepared to make him any guarantees.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accused Trump of a “temper tantrum” and told reporters outside the White House: “He sort of slammed the table and when Leader Pelosi said she didn’t agree with the wall he just walked out and said: ‘We have nothing to discuss.'”
Pelosi charged that Trump ‘seems to be insensitive’ to the impact of a partial government shutdown on rank-and-file federal employees who will see their first lapse in payroll on Friday.
“He thinks maybe they can just ask their father for more money. But they can’t,” she jabbed.
Pelosi added that she had told Trump that ‘the evidence does not support the situation you describe,’ referring to his claims that human trafficking, narcotics smuggling and a criminal epidemic constitute a border crisis.
Pence and House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy played clean-up, painting a picture of a congenial meeting that the Democrats fouled through sheer stubbornness with the president even offering candy to his Democratic rivals.
‘The president walked into the room and passed out candy,’ Pence said. ‘I don’t recall him ever raising his voice or slamming his hand. This is a president who feels very strongly about his commitment to see to the security of the American people.’
As Trump was giving Democrats the brush-off in the Situation Room, the White House budget office poured cold water on any prospects of re-opening shuttered government agencies one-by-one.
House Democrats proposed bills that would individually fund the Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Transportation and other departments.