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WASHINGTON (AP) — In a wild Oval Office confrontation, President Donald Trump heatedly threatened to shut down the U.S. government Tuesday as he and Democratic leaders bickered over funding for his promised border wall and offered a grim preview of life in Washington the next two years under divided government.
Trump and House and Senate Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer squabbled for more than 15 minutes in the stunning, televised encounter. Each of them, especially Trump, interrupted the others to question facts, quibble over election results and lob insults.
Trump - Pelosi - Ability - Votes - House
Trump questioned Pelosi’s ability to count votes in her own House. She questioned his manhood — after she left the building.
The public clash marked Trump’s first meeting with the newly empowered Democrats since their midterm victories that put them in control of the House, laying bare the tensions on both sides and suggesting how divided government might work — or not — as the 2020 presidential election nears.
Portion - Meeting - Dispute - Shutdown - Dec
Neither the public nor the private face-to-face portion of the meeting appeared to resolve the wall-funding dispute with a partial shutdown looming on Dec. 21. However, Pelosi said Trump called her later in the afternoon and told her the White House was looking at options she and Schumer had laid out.
In the public debate, Trump sounded more determined than ever to allow a partial government shutdown unless he gets the billions he wants for his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down,” he declared.
Pelosi later crowed that she and Schumer had goaded the president to “fully own that the shutdown was his.” She told Democratic lawmakers back at the Capitol, according to an aide who was in the room, that the wall was “like a manhood thing for him ... as if...
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