The government shutdown has now gone on for 20 days, and it looks like it will almost certainly become the longest shutdown in the country’s history. Representative Nancy Pelosi, Senator Chuck Schumer, and others met with President Donald Trump on Wednesday to try to come to a resolution on the shutdown and the president’s demand for border wall money. The president is said to have abruptly walked out of the meeting and now Pelosi is signaling that she thinks that may have been his plan from the start.
Republicans and Democrats seem to disagree on exactly how Wednesday’s meeting played out with the president and the representatives there. However, Trump did walk out of the meeting and a number of people have speculated that he intended to do just that all along, regardless of how the meeting went.
Trump tweeted that after Pelosi said that another 30 days of negotiating wouldn’t open her up to the wall or barrier funding, he “said bye-bye.” The president did depart at that point and that left all of the remaining politicians to head to the bank of cameras and microphones and recite their versions of what else happened during the unproductive meeting.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2019
As CNN details, Nancy addressed the walkout during her weekly briefing. She said that Trump was unpresidential in his behavior during the meeting and she thinks that the meeting itself was orchestrated simply to provide the opportunity for the president to walk out on them.
Pelosi went on to say that she doesn’t necessarily believe that Trump actually wants the wall. Rather, she speculated, she thinks he may just want to debate over the wall.
There’s been escalating talk that the president may try to declare a national emergency regarding the border so he can redirect military funds to build his wall. Pelosi wouldn’t respond to questions about how the Democrats would react to that move, but she did say that he seems to love the distraction of this wall discussion and is exploiting a situation to build up his power.
Huffington Post adds that Pelosi said she had wanted to talk about how the Democrats want to see border security via evidence-based solutions, including surveillance technology, rather than focus solely on a wall barrier. Ultimately, it seems that little discussion actually took place during this meeting in the Situation Room on Wednesday.
The Speaker of the House isn’t the only person who has questioned whether the meeting on Wednesday was designed specifically so the president could end up walking out of it. There has been buzz across social media regarding that possibility, so many find it interesting to see Pelosi mention it, too.
If the president or his team did plan Wednesday’s meeting specifically so he could make a statement by walking out, it doesn’t necessarily look like it accomplished much. Both President Trump and the Democrats continue to hold firm in their positions, and it’s not easy to see how this gets resolved anytime soon.