Chaos Erupts as Trump and Democratic Leaders Clash in Front of Cameras

“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck.”

Evan Vucci/AP

In a stunning exchange that played out in front of TV cameras inside the Oval Office, President Donald Trump on Tuesday openly clashed with Democratic leaders over the looming government shutdown and funding for a border wall, declaring at one point that he would be “proud to shut down the government” to fund the wall.

“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck,” Trump told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer before adding, “I will take the mantle for shutting it down.”

Chaos Erupts as Trump and Democratic Leaders Clash in Front of Cameras

“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck,” Trump told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “I will take the mantle for shutting it down.”

Posted by Mother Jones Video on Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The heated remarks came during a planned meeting at the White House that quickly spiraled out of control as Trump argued with Schumer and soon-to-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the votes needed to pass funding for a $5 billion border wall. “One way or the other, it’s going to get built,” Trump said. “I’d like not to see a government closing, a shutdown. But the wall is a very important thing to us.” 

At another point, Trump said Pelosi was in a situation “where it’s not easy for her to talk right now.”

Pelosi shot back, “Mr. President, please don’t characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as the leader of the House Democrats who just won a big victory.”

“Elections have consequences, Mr. President,” Schumer quickly added.

The heated back-and-forth was an extraordinary display of hostility between Trump and the Democratic leaders who said on Tuesday that the president was willing to risk a government shutdown to deliver on a campaign promise. Vice President Mike Pence notably remained silent throughout the exchange.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.