Trump Battles With Nancy Pelosi And Chuck Schumer Over Border Wall Funding


"I will take the mantle, I will take the mantle of shutting down the government" to get funding for the border wall, Trump said.

In the space of a few hours Tuesday, the California Democrat nominated for her second stint as House speaker rolled out her approach to the Republican president as the two prepare for two years of divided government.

At the time, Mr Trump was taking part in what was meant to be a pleasant photo opportunity in the Oval Office with the Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

During the meeting, which was aired by the White House press pool for all of America to see, President Trump debated the Democrat leaders over funding for the border wall. "We can do border security without a wall, which is wasteful and doesn't solve the problem", Schumer said.

Tweeting ahead of the meeting with the opposition leaders, Trump claimed that the wall was needed to prevent "large scale crime and disease" brought by illegal immigrants. "If we have to close down the country over border security, I actually like that in terms of an issue".

The fight kicked off when Ms Pelosi told Mr Trump that Americans did not want to see a "Trump shutdown", touching a nerve. If Republicans take back the House in 2020, however, the Pelosi gang would, in theory, be able to hang around until such time as they registered two more years in the majority.

Schumer also informed the president that "elections have consequences".

"If we don't get what we want, one way or the other, whether it's through you, through military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government", Mr Trump said. "We have to have an evidence-based conversation about what does work and what money has been spent and how effective it is", Pelosi said.

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At the Pentagon, spokesman Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis said there were no plans to date to have the military build sections of the wall. "They know how important it is!" Instead, their blazing row in front of the world's media gave a preview of the stormy future facing Trump as legal scandals mount and his Republican party gives up its once total control of Congress.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cited another wall, along Israel's southern border with Egypt, as a model for the United States in its bid to stop migrants from crossing without approval. Trump wants the next funding package to include at least $5 billion U.S. for it, an idea Democrats have flatly rejected.

Congress is seeking to finalize spending before some federal government funding expires on December 21.

In a deal created to pull just enough Democratic "rebels" over the line to ensure Nancy Pelosi's election as Speaker in January, she's reportedly near an agreement on a term-limit proposal that would "cap" her hold on the gavel at four years. Pelosi and Schumer want the president to accept a set of bipartisan proposals that would allocate about $1.3 billion toward border security measures, such as fencing.

"Unfortunately, this has spiraled downward", says Nancy Pelosi during a heated argument with President Trump at the Oval Office.

Pelosi, who is seeking to become House speaker when the new Congress convenes in January, said she and many other Democrats consider the wall "immoral, ineffective and expensive".

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Senate appropriations committee, said Trump is the only obstacle between fully funding the government and a shutdown. Additionally, the House will include a record number of women elected in the #MeToo era - a lot of them Democrats - injecting gender into the discussion like never before.