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10 Jan 2019

How did the meeting go? Trump walks out of shutdown talks with a 'bye-bye'

President Donald Trump has walked out of a meeting with Democratic leaders as negotiations broke down on the 19th day of a partial US government shutdown.

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer stuck by their refusal to fund his US-Mexico border wall, prompting Mr Trump to call the meeting "a total waste of time".

Democrats again accused the president of throwing a "temper tantrum".

The first payday since the shutdown began is due on Friday for 800,000 federal workers, who will go unpaid.

Mr Trump has demanded $5.7bn (£4.5bn) to build a steel barrier, which would deliver on a key campaign pledge. But Democrats - who control the House of Representatives - have refused to back the funding.

How did the meeting go?

It was certainly brief, at only 14 minutes.

The president hosted the Democratic leaders in the Situation Room, the conference centre in the West Wing basement.

Mr Trump posed a direct question to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about whether she would fund the wall. His tweet following the meeting reflected the outcome of that - he said "bye-bye" and left:

Mr Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, confirmed the exchange, saying: "He [Mr Trump] 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."

Mr Schumer reportedly asked Mr Trump: "You are using people as leverage; why won't you open the government and stop hurting people?"

A White House official told the New York Times Mr Trump had said: "I am trying to do the right thing for the country. This isn't about politics."

Mr Schumer also said Mr Trump had "slammed the table" - prompting an angry response from the president denying it and insisting he had been polite.

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