Image Credit: Shutterstock & NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Border Security

Pelosi Disputes Trump’s View of Contentious Wall Meeting

President actually did specify that his version of border security means also having a barrier between the U.S. and Mexico

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed amid the ongoing partial government shutdown on Thursday that President Donald Trump lied about a recent meeting they had.

Trump described the meeting as a “waste of time” shortly after storming out of it late Wednesday.

The meeting was the latest in a series of failed discussions to end an ongoing government shutdown.

The president claimed afterward that the speaker said “no” to funding border security that includes a wall even if he quickly reopens the government from its partial shutdown.

“I would like to correct the record,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference Thursday.

“He had not told the truth when he said he asked me whether in 30 days I would support border security and I said no. He knows, the people in the room know, that was not what happened.”

“When he said in 30 days would you support a wall, and I said no, he went out and said something completely different.”

Related: Trump Walks Out of Gov’t Shutdown Meeting with Dems

Trump did actually specify after the meeting that his version of border security does mean also having a wall.

The president has been fighting to get $5.6 billion to fund the border security wall. Democratic leaders have opposed providing any government funding for the wall. The stalemate is what led both sides to the partial government shutdown on December 22.

“Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time,” Trump tweeted after the meeting.

“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.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has been equally as opposed to funding the border wall as he’s attended the ongoing discussions. But despite these regular meetings, the groups have been unable to overcome the impasse.

Schumer has said he is only willing to provide $1.3 billion for border security, which cannot go toward the wall.

House Democrats have made a few attempts of their own to end the shutdown. They passed two bills intended to fund most of the government while leaving room to debate border security.

The House also passed the first of four appropriations bills to reopen the government late Wednesday.

Pelosi also repeated her argument during the press conference that Senate Republicans should support their bills because they’re based on legislation they previously passed or advanced through committees.

But those bills were passed in the hopes they would become law. Trump has since made clear he won’t sign anything that doesn’t include border wall funding.

“We are just saying to them, take yes for an answer,” Pelosi said during the press conference. “This is what you proposed. Why are you rejecting it at the expense of the health, safety and well being of the American people? Do you take an oath to the Constitution, or do you take an oath to President Trump?”

Related: Border Patrol Union Makes the Case for Trump’s Wall

Trump has reaffirmed his commitment to funding the border wall throughout the shutdown.

He stressed the importance of having a border wall during his first Oval Office address this past Tuesday night. He has made similar arguments during recent Cabinet meetings and press conferences throughout the shutdown as well.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), in turn, said he wouldn’t bring up any bills the president wouldn’t sign. He had made earlier attempts to stop the government shutdown, such as a short-term spending bill to fund the government through February 8.

But that proposal failed after facing opposition from the House Freedom Caucus.

Trump has also floated the idea of declaring a state of emergency to get his border wall funding as well. He recently said during a press conference he might do so if talks fail.

The move could possibly allow the president to free up billions in emergency funds for his wall through the National Emergencies Act. But he is also likely to face lawsuits, too.

Check out this video:

meet the author

Connor D. Wolf covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at [email protected].