The US President reportedly made an abrupt exit from talks with leading Democrats with a "bye, bye!".
The shutdown has now reached its 19th day and there is little sign of progress after Trump ended negotiations with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
On Twitter, Trump said the meeting had been “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!,” he wrote.
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
Trump cut his meeting with Pelosi and Schumer short
Trump has also previously floated the idea of declaring a national emergency so as to bypass congressional approval to build the wall.
After the failed talks, Pelosi told reporters there had been a “cold” mood in the White House.
Schumer confirmed that the President cut the meeting short when Pelosi said the Democrats would not agree to Trump’s funding demands.
He said: “He asked Speaker Pelosi, ‘Will you agree to my wall?’ She said no.
“And he just got up and said, ‘Then we have nothing to discuss,’ and he just walked out. Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn’t get his way.”
Vice-President Mike Pence told the media the Democrats were to blame for the situation and had been “unwilling to engage in good faith negotiations”. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said the Republican party remained “all behind the president”.
Trump stormed out of his meeting with Democratic and Republican leaders after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would not fund his border wall regardless of when the government reopens https://t.co/ns0zvta5KO
— POLITICO (@politico) January 9, 2019
Hundreds of thousands of US workers remain on furlough
There have been some reports that the Republican consensus on the wall is starting to fray. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Cory Gardner have all said they would support an end to the shutdown without funding for the wall being secured.
Senior Senate Republicans met on Capitol Hill before the meeting with Pelosi and Schumer and Trump reportedly urged colleagues to “stick together”. Emerging from that meeting, the President insisted the party was “totally unified” despite the ongoing shutdown. “We talked about strategy, but they’re with us all the way,” he told reporters.
The shutdown has left an estimated 800,000 US workers without any salary since 22 December. Around 420,000 of the furloughed staff are continuing to work without pay.
Pelosi later said Trump was being “insensitive” to federal workers struggling to make ends meet during the shutdown. “He thinks maybe they could just ask their father for money, but they can’t,” she said.
Many commentators have taken issue with Trump characterising the influx of immigrants on the US-Mexico border as a “crisis”. Figures from the US Customs and Border Protection show the number of border apprehensions rose in 2018 to around 416,000. These figures pale in comparison to immigration levels through the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, however, when there were often more than 1 million migrants apprehended each year.
Header image credit: Gage Skidmore