US President Donald Trump has walked out of a meeting with Democratic leaders as the partial government shutdown continues.
The president ended talks after Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer stuck by their refusal to fund his planned US-Mexico border wall. Trump called his White House meeting with the pair on Wednesday afternoon “a total waste of time”.
He wrote 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!”
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
Some 800,000 federal workers will go without pay this week for the first time since the shutdown began.
Schumer accused the president of having a temper tantrum during the meeting.
“He asked [House] Speaker Pelosi, ‘Will you agree to my wall?’ she said no,” Schumer said, according to the ABC. “And he just got up and said, ‘Then we have nothing to discuss,’ and he just walked out.
“Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn’t get his way.”
It comes after the president used his first-ever televised Oval Office address to call for an end to the “cycle of human suffering” he claims could be solved by the construction of his Mexican border wall.
Describing the current immigration situation in the US as a “humanitarian crisis of the heart and soul”, Trump again called for Congress to grant the $5.7 billion he’s requested to construct the steel barrier between Mexico and the USA.
The 45th President of the USA spoke directly to the nation as he described the “hurt” he believes illegal immigration has caused the American people, claiming that thousands of citizens have been “brutally killed by those who entered the country illegally”.
He said: “America proudly welcomes millions of lawful emigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation. But all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled, illegal migration.”
Trump addressed the nation on Tuesday evening as the country entered its 20th day of a partial government shutdown, blaming the Democrats for the ongoing shutdown, saying they “will not fund border security”.