Trump storms out of talks on shutdown

Heads to border as part of drive for wall

11 January, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Trump storms out of talks on shutdown

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said “bye-bye” and stormed out of negotiations Wednesday on funding a US-Mexico border wall when Democratic opponents refused to agree to the project, reports AFP.          

“A total waste of time,” Trump tweeted about his White House meeting with top Democratic congressional leaders. “I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”

Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, told journalists Trump “sort of slammed the table,” then “got up and walked out.”

“Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn’t get his way,” Schumer said.

Although the two sides agreed that the meeting ended abruptly, they argued over who was to blame.

According to supporters of Trump at the meeting, the president asked Democratic leaders whether they would agree to fund his wall project in exchange for him ending a painful shutdown of swaths of government, which he has instigated in retaliation for the standoff.

The Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, “raised her hand and said no, not at all,” said Kevin McCarthy, the senior Republican in the House, who was also present.

“We heard once again that Democratic leaders are unwilling to even negotiate,” Vice President Mike Pence said. The vice president insisted that Trump came in good faith.

“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.”

Trump wants $5.7 billion to fund a wall he says is needed to keep out dangerous illegal immigrants, drug dealers and people smugglers from Mexico.

Meanwhile, the US president headed Thursday to the US-Mexico border as part of his all-out offensive to build a wall, a day after he stormed out of negotiations when Democratic opponents refused to agree to fund the project in exchange for an end to a painful government shutdown.

“A total waste of time,” Trump tweeted about his White House meeting with top Democratic congressional leaders. “I said bye-bye, nothing else works!” Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, told journalists Trump “sort of slammed the table,” then “got up and walked out.”

“Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn’t get his way,” Schumer said.

Although the two sides agreed that the meeting ended abruptly, they argued over who was to blame. A partial government shutdown dragged on. It was the latest chapter in the drama over Trump’s dogged drive for the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico.

Here on the border, aid workers had a message for Trump: things are not as he says they are, and the people crossing the border harbor are not murderers and drug traffickers are he says many of them are.

“The truth is that a great number of percentage of people entering our country, asking to come in to the country, are not criminals: they are families, children, mothers, who really are asking for protection. They’re not coming here to hurt us but rather for us to help them,” said Sister Norma Pimentel, head of the Catholic Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas.


Top