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“I WILL TAKE THE MANTLE”
by Sharon Rondeau
Vice President Mike Pence was seated beside Trump and said nothing in the video presented by Fox News.
Schumer barely looked in Trump’s direction as he made cryptic remarks about opposing Trump’s stated decision to allow a partial government shutdown if Congress does not pass a spending bill containing the $5 Billion he wants to build a border wall.
Democrats generally oppose funding for a border wall, and many Republicans have not publicly stated support for it. Of late Trump has said that the wall is vital for national security and that he is willing to allow government funding to expire if the money he wants for “the wall” is not allocated.
The three engaged in considerable argument, with Schumer emphatically stating, “We disagree” on the issue of a government shutdown.
At 12:22 p.m., Trump said, “I will take the mantle [of a government shutdown]…thank you very much, everybody,” signaling an end to the public discussion. However, reporters shouting questions received a response from Trump about who might be his new chief of staff in the wake of John Kelly’s announced resignation at the end of this month.
At 12:23, Harris Faulkner said, “I wonder why Nancy Pelosi didn’t want people to see that.”
At 12:30, Pelosi and Schumer held a “stakeout” outside of the White House. Obviously frustrated with their meeting with Trump, they said that two options were offered to Trump in place of what they say will be the “Trump shutdown.” “He admitted he wanted a shutdown; it’s hard to believe he would want that,” Schumer said.
“He does not have the votes in the House to pass what he wants,” Pelosi said Schumer yielded the lectern to her. Retaking it, Schumer said that “They haven’t even spent last year’s money; now they’re asking for more.”
In response to a question, Pelosi said that the 116th Congress, in which she is likely to serve as Speaker of the House, will be “different” than the Republican-led House for the last two years.
Pelosi said that if Democrats’ “hand of friendship” extended to Trump is not accepted, “we still will be who we are.”