Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spent much of their contentious meeting Tuesday with President Donald Trump trying to “untie the knots in logic he was tying himself in.”
While speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Schumer said the president “lives in a cocoon of his own mistruth.” The senator said while Trump threatened to shut down the government to secure a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday, the president also said the current situation at the border is already working.
Schumer further pointed out to his colleagues more of Trump’s contradictory statements from the bizarre meeting in front of cameras that aired on national television, debated on social media and was even mocked by late-night talk show hosts.
“President Trump started by bragging about how great border security is going under his watch. That, by the way, is with no wall,” Schumer said Wednesday. “If it were truly the case, as the president said, that border security is better than it’s ever been, what’s wrong with another year of the same funding?”
The New York Democrat added, “If things are going so great, why does he have to threaten to shut down the government for his $5 billion wall? It makes no sense.”
Schumer and Pelosi met with Trump to discuss options for funding the government. The Democrats presented two scenarios—both of which Schumer said have bipartisan support—but Trump was adamant on Tuesday that any spending bill must include funding for his controversial wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.
“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,” Trump said during the meeting, adding that he would be “proud” to do it.
On Wednesday, Schumer condemned Trump’s rhetoric. “It was astounding that any president, even this one, would say that,” Schumer said.
The senator also pointed out Trump’s falsehoods about the border wall, which he called a “petty campaign pledge to fire up his base.” The president has said Mexico would pay for the $25 billion wall, but no agreement has been made.
“It is difficult, if nearly impossible, to negotiate with a president in front of the press who peddles such blatant and dangerous falsehoods,” Schumer said.
The Senate must address the government budget before Dec. 21, or risk a partial government shutdown.