WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump walked out of discussions to end a partial government shutdown, now in its third week, calling discussions with congressional Democrats "a total waste of time."
"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!" Trump said.
Top congressional Democrats blasted Trump after the meeting Wednesday afternoon, accusing him of indifference to struggling federal workers and not trying to negotiate as the government shutdown drags on.
"Unfortunately, the President just got up and walked out," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said. "He asked Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi, 'Will you agree to my wall?' She said no. 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, and he just walked out of the meeting."
Pelosi, speaking alongside Schumer outside the White House, said Trump was "insensitive" to federal workers missing pay during the shutdown and alluded to Trump's own privileged upbringing.
"He thinks maybe they could just ask their father for money, but they can't," Pelosi said.
She added, "If you don't understand financial insecurity then you would have a policy that takes pride in saying, 'I'm going to keep government shut down for months or years unless you totally agree to my position.' "