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Trump walkout at shutdown meeting with Democrats after they reject wall

Address: Donald Trump
Address: Donald Trump

By Staff Reporter

US President Donald Trump has walked out of a meeting with congressional leaders as talks to end the partial government shutdown remain at an impasse.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Mr Trump asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at yesterday's White House meeting whether she would agree to fund his wall on the southern border with Mexico.

When she said "no", Mr Schumer said, Mr Trump got up and said: "Then we have nothing to discuss."

Mr Schumer added: "And he just walked out", the Democrat branding the President's actions "really, really unfortunate".

Mr Trump called the meeting "a total waste of time".

He tweeted that once Ms Pelosi rejected his border wall, he "said bye-bye, nothing else works!"

Vice President Mike Pence said Democrats were "unwilling to even negotiate" an end to the partial government shutdown and the standoff over the wall.

Mr Pence spoke outside the West Wing after the contentious meeting, saying: "I think the President made his position very clear today that there will be no deal without a wall."

Mr Pence said Mr Trump asked Ms Pelosi whether she would be willing to agree to funding for a wall or a barrier on the southern border if he re-opened the government quickly.

Mr Pence said: "When she said 'no', the President said 'goodbye'."

Mr Schumer said Mr Trump had a "temper tantrum".

Mr Pence said of the President: "I don't recall him ever raising his voice."

Earlier, Mr Trump had made a televised plea for border wall funding as he declared there is "a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul".

Addressing the nation from the Oval Office for the first time, Mr Trump had argued for funding on security and humanitarian grounds as he sought to put pressure on newly empowered Democrats amid an extended partial US Government shutdown.

Mr Trump had called on Democrats to meet with him at the White House, saying it was "immoral" for politicians to do nothing.

Speaking in solemn tones from behind the Resolute Desk, he painted a dire picture of killings and drug deaths he argues come from unchecked illegal immigration, and asked: "How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?"

Mr Trump used emotional language, referring to Americans who were killed by people in the country illegally, saying: "I've met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration.

"I've held the hands of the weeping mothers and embraced the grief-stricken fathers. So sad. So terrible."

Democrats are blocking funding for a $5.7 billion (£4.5bn) wall, which they say would be immoral and ineffective, and have called on Mr Trump to reopen shuttered portions of the government while border negotiations continue.

Democrats said Mr Trump "used the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration".

The partial government shutdown reached its 18th day yesterday, making the closure the second-longest in history.

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