A meeting between President Donald Trump, soon-to-be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blew up into a heated argument over Trump’s beloved border wall that grew so uncomfortable that the Democrats asked that they take it private as reporters were there capturing the whole thing.
After Trump declared that there was “great Democrat support” for criminal justice reform and that the farm bill is in excellent shape, he rattled off some statistics about how it was necessary to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to stop terrorism and crime. This eventually turned into a debate over the need for funding for the wall, with Schumer and Pelosi hitting back on the president’s characterization.
And it would be an understatement to say this thing went off the rails.
There is so much to unpack here, honestly.
The president asserted that terrorists are “pouring” into the country and that his wall would stop them while also claiming that much of the wall has already been built. Meanwhile, the Dem leaders hit back that he has been fact-checked numerous times on the wall about his claims that the wall is already being constructed while pointing out that they don’t want to shut down the government over the wall.
Pelosi called for the meeting to be taken private rather than fighting it out in front of the press. However, all three of them continued to snipe at each other. All the while, Vice President Mike Pence sat in a nearby chair, quiet as a mouse.
At one point, after Pelosi sounded the alarm on the economy and told the president that his party was losing offices across the country, Trump boasted that the GOP made gains in the Senate.
“When the president brags that he won North Dakota and Indiana, he is in trouble,” Schumer snarked.
And Pelosi wanted the president to realize that elections do have consequences and he needed to understand that the Democrats overtook the House and she would end up being speaker after he implied she wasn’t in a strong position during their talks.
“Mr. President — please don’t characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as a leader of the House Democrats who just won a big victory,” she stated.
It just got more heated from there. The president insisted that a new spending bill include funding for the wall while blaming Schumer for the last government shutdown. At the same time, he said he was willing to take on the responsibility of the government shutting down this time.
“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck,” Trump bellowed. “The people of this country don’t want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country. I will take the mantle. I will be the to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you. The last time you shut it down it didn’t work. I’m going to shut it down for border security.”
The look on Schumer’s face at that moment was, in a word, priceless.
Watch the amazing clip above, via CNN.