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Trump Storms Out of Shutdown Meeting with Dems as Negotiations Stall

President Donald Trump waves to reporters in Washington, D.C., January 9, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/REUTERS)

Moments after leaving a meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, President Trump declared on Wednesday that the meeting, which aimed to find a way through the impasse that has kept the government partially closed for more than three weeks, was “a total waste of time.”

Vice President Mike Pence, who attended the Wednesday afternoon meeting with Democratic leadership, reiterated Trump’s characterization of the conversation during a press conference held afterward.

“[Trump] asked Speaker Pelosi, if he reopened the government quickly, would she be willing to agree to funding for a wall or a barrier on the southern border, and when she said ‘no’ the president said ‘goodbye,'” Pence said.

Schumer, addressing reporters on Capitol Hill after the meeting, said the president threw a “temper tantrum” before “slamming the table” and storming out of the meeting.

With negotiations to end the 19-day shutdown seemingly stalled, Trump has resumed his threat to fund the border wall, his signature campaign promise, tby declaring a national emergency.

“I have the absolute right to do national emergency if I want,” Trump told reporters during a White House pool spray Wednesday morning. “My threshold will be if I can’t make a deal with people that are unreasonable.”

While Trump and Pence have repeatedly signaled their resolve to extend the shutdown until they secure $5.7 billion for the construction of a barrier on the southern border, four moderate Senate Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia —  have expressed support for the passage of a short-term spending bill that lacks wall funding.

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