Trump Walks Out of Meeting with Pelosi and Schumer, Raises Prospect of National Emergency Over Border Wall

 Trump Walks Out of Meeting with Pelosi and Schumer, Raises Prospect of National Emergency Over Border Wall

Source: sputniknews

On January 9, 2019, a high-stakes meeting between Donald Trump and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer ended abruptly, with Trump walking out and declaring the discussions over the government shutdown and border wall funding “a total waste of time.” The incident, which occurred during a tense period of negotiations, underscored the deep divisions over the border wall issue and raised concerns about Trump potentially declaring a national emergency.

During the meeting, which was aimed at resolving the ongoing government shutdown, tensions quickly escalated. Trump, frustrated with the talks, left abruptly after Pelosi refused to approve border security measures that included a wall or steel barrier. Trump’s reaction was captured in a tweet following the meeting, as reported by CNBC, where he expressed his exasperation.

The atmosphere in the meeting room was charged, with Schumer describing Trump’s behavior as a “temper tantrum” and Pelosi deeming it “unbecoming of a presidency.” Trump reportedly tried to lighten the mood initially by distributing candies like Butterfinger, Baby Ruth bars, and M&M’s.

Vice President Mike Pence downplayed Trump’s reaction, stating he did not yell or slam his hand, contrary to Schumer’s depiction of Trump using “people as leverage” in the negotiations.

The meeting’s key moment came when Trump inquired about the Democrats’ stance on border security in the next 30 days, leading to Pelosi’s firm “NO” and Trump’s subsequent walkout. This incident referenced the Democrats’ proposal to reopen the Department of Homeland Security until February 8 and other departments until September 30, allowing time for further negotiations while relieving federal workers.

Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, supported Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion for the border wall. This partisan deadlock increased the likelihood of an extended government shutdown, impacting around 800,000 federal employees.

Trump’s stance became more rigid, threatening a long-term shutdown or even declaring a national emergency to fund the border wall, a key campaign promise. This approach was controversial, even among some Republicans, and indicated Trump’s determination to pursue the wall at all costs.

Eventually, on February 15, 2019, Trump declared a national emergency at the Mexican border, as reported by The New York Times. This decision shifted the debate from a policy disagreement to a constitutional conflict.

Trump justified his unilateral action by citing national security threats from drugs, criminals, and illegal immigration. Despite reduced illegal crossings and claims of a manufactured crisis, Trump admitted his eagerness to expedite the process, stating, “I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster. I just want to get it done faster, that’s all.” This statement encapsulated the contentious nature of the border wall debate and the complexities of the political struggle that ensued.

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