President Donald Trump denied slamming a table and storming out of shutdown negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, accusing Schumer of fabricating the account.
Schumer “told his favorite lie when he used his standard sound bite that I ‘slammed the table & walked out of the room. He had a temper tantrum,”’ Trump said Thursday on Twitter. “I politely said bye-bye and left, no slamming!”
Trump said in a tweet following the meeting that the meeting was a “waste of time,” blaming Pelosi and Schumer for being unwilling to negotiate. Schumer told reporters the president “sort of slammed the table” when Pelosi criticized the wall before walking out on the meeting, a description that Republican lawmakers in attendance have disputed.
Yesterday’s acrimonious breakdown in talks underscored how entrenched the two sides have become. Trump believes building the wall—a key campaign promise—is crucial for his 2020 re-election bid and has shown no sign of backing down. The Democrats, on the other hand, have said they won’t negotiate until the president agrees to re-open government, which has now been partially shuttered for 19 days
Those who have done business with Trump in the past said walking out of the meeting was one of his trademark negotiating tactics. Long before he entered the White House—where the latest turn on his heel occurred—Trump was known to have done the same thing when a deal wasn’t going his way. He even walked out of a judge’s chambers during divorce proceedings.