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

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

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.”

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.

GREAT JOURNALISM, SLOW FUNDRAISING

Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

Yet, we just came up pretty short on our first big fundraising campaign since Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting joined forces.

So, two things:

1) If you value the journalism we do but haven’t pitched in over the last few months, please consider doing so now—we urgently need a lot of help to make up for lost ground.

2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

payment methods

GREAT JOURNALISM, SLOW FUNDRAISING

Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

Yet, we just came up pretty short on our first big fundraising campaign since Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting joined forces.

So, two things:

1) If you value the journalism we do but haven’t pitched in over the last few months, please consider doing so now—we urgently need a lot of help to make up for lost ground.

2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly 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