Donald Trump decided that today was the day for another episode of “the wall.” Trump invited soon-to-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leader in the Senate Chuck Schumer to stop by the White House so he could push them to agree to wall funding in exchange for his not shutting down the government and throwing thousands out of work just in time for Christmas. The meeting was initially supposed to be off camera. But then Trump decided this would be a great opportunity to bring in the cameras and show the Democrats who is boss. Trump came out smiling and lying, attempting to equate “border security” with his multi-billion wall and maintaining that “large sections” of the wall were already built and working.
But neither Pelosi or Schumer was in a mood to roll over. Pelosi piled in immediately, challenging Trump on his ability to get a bill with the wall past even the Republican-controlled House. Trump continually insisted that he could do so “in a second,” though he hasn’t. Pelosi pushed Trump hard enough on this issue that she practically knocked him out of his chair, forcing Trump to retreat to claiming that Republicans “won the Senate.” That was a moment when Chuck Schumer pulled out the quickest reply of the event.
Schumer: When the president brags that he won North Dakota and Indiana he’s in real trouble.
The rest of the on-air wrestling match consisted of Democrats attempting to get Trump to own up to shutting down the government. Trump repeatedly insisted that he wasn’t responsible for the last shut down (he was) and didn’t say he would shut down the government last time (he did). But less than thirty seconds later, Schumer had trump pinned down and forced him to either drop the whole idea of a shutdown or own it.
Trump: If we don’t get what we want I will shut down the government. I am proud to shutdown the government for border security. … I will take the mantle for shutting down the government.
After the meeting, Schumer pointed out that so little actual construction has taken place that less than 6 percent of the money allocated to its funding last year has been spent. There seems little point laying out more money for a wall that’s not one seems to want—and which Trump is claiming is getting built “way under budget.”
The invisible man in the room — Mike Pence, who said not one audible word in the whole event.
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