Trump Vows to Shutdown the Government if ‘We Don’t Get What We Want’

“I am proud to shut down the government…”

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

In a pretty awe-inspiring Oval Office meeting on Tuesday, President Donald Trump promised that if he doesn’t get funding for his border wall, he will proudly shut down the government.

Sitting next to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Trump said, “If we don’t get what we want … I will shut down the government.” He added later, “I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck.”

Here’s a clip of that exchange:

The government is nearing a shut down — if lawmakers are unable to reach a deal by December 21, the federal government will shutter, meaning that National Parks and most other federally operated bodies will be out of service.

Trump wants $5 billion for his border wall, but Democrats have no intention of pumping that much federal money into one of the president’s campaign promises. Unfortunately for Trump, he needs Democrats if he’s going to make a deal.

The body language of those in the room was also very telling — beside Trump, Vice President Mike Pence sat cold, looking very uncomfortable but not betraying any emotion. As Trump promised that he would shut down the government, Chuck Schumer grinned. Trump saying that he would “proudly” close the government over his funding wall was the perfect soundbite for Democrats eager to paint the president as obsessed with his own interests.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., December 11, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

In their statement, the White House called the meeting “constructive” and said that “President Trump made clear that any government funding measure must include responsible border security, including a wall, to protect the American people.”

At one point in the meeting, Pelosi told the president, “I don’t think we should have a debate in front of the press on this.” But Trump responded that “We’re doing this in a very friendly manner.” Later, Pelosi was even more blunt, saying, “Let’s call a halt to this.”

Watch the full video of the meeting below:

What do you think?

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Lizzie Helmer
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Government shutdowns used to be rare and now they’re commonly used as a threat to get what Congress or the president wants. It’s going to affect so many people and put a lot of lives on hold, is that really worth it for funding for a border wall? Especially when Trump repeatedly promised in his campaign that the wall would come out of Mexico’s pocket?

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