Trump Bickers with Dem Leaders, Threatens Gov’t Shutdown

December 11, 2018, 1:28 pm EST | Share:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Trump threatened repeatedly to shut down the government if Congress doesn’t provide the money he says is needed to build a wall at the Mexico border in a heated argument in public with Democrat leaders, Tuesday. He insisted that the military can build it if the Democrats won’t vote for the funding.

Democratic Senate and House leaders, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi met with Trump in a contentious meeting. The government is looking at a partial shutdown on December 21st when funding for some agencies will expire.

Both Democrats said that legislation should keep the government open and provide additional border security, but Trump said major wall funding was necessary.

Schumer said, “You say ‘my way or we’ll shut down the government.’” Trump responded that border security was necessary and a wall was necessary for border security.

“Yes, if we don’t get what we want … I will shut down the government,” he declared.

Constantly interrupting, Trump squabbled with the Democrats over whether wall funding could be approved in the House or Senate without Democratic votes.

“This has spiraled downwards,” Pelosi said.

The president asked whether Republicans had won the Senate in the November election.

“When the president brags he has won North Dakota and Indiana, he’s in real trouble,” retorted Schumer with a smile.

In a series of tweets earlier Tuesday, Trump said immigration and border patrol agents and thousands of active-duty service members he sent to the border have done a “FANTASTIC” job. But he said “A Great Wall would be, however, a far easier & less expensive solution.”

Trump said he looked forward to meeting with Schumer and Pelosi, but claimed they don’t want border security for “strictly political reasons.”

“If the Democrats do not give us the votes to secure our Country, the Military will build the remaining sections of the Wall. They know how important it is!” Trump said.

Schumer and Pelosi said Monday that Republicans have the power to keep the government open since they control Congress and the White House.

“Our country cannot afford a Trump Shutdown,” they said in a statement, adding that Trump “knows full well that his wall proposal does not have the votes to pass the House and Senate and should not be an obstacle to a bipartisan agreement.”

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