Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE, saying he threw a “temper tantrum” in their dramatic televised White House meeting the day before and urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' Democrats press for action on election security Hillicon Valley: Election security looms over funding talks | Antitrust enforcers in turf war | Facebook details new oversight board | Apple fights EU tax bill MORE (R-Ky.) to walk him back. 

“It is difficult, if nearly impossible, to negotiate with a president in front of the press who peddles such blatant and dangerous falsehoods. And because Leader Pelosi and I simply didn't go along with him, President Trump threw a temper tantrum and promised to shut the government unless he got what he wanted,” Schumer said from the Senate floor.

Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Democrats will 'certainly' beat Trump in 2020 Kavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw Lewandowski, Democrats tangle at testy hearing MORE (D-Calif.) battled angrily with Trump over the U.S.-Mexico border wall during the Oval Office meeting, during which the president said he would take the “mantle” for a partial government shutdown.


Schumer called Trump’s remarks “astounding” and accused him of trying to “hold parts of the government hostage” over the border wall, accusing his advisers of keeping him in a “cocoon” of false information.

“We had to puncture that cocoon, and he threw a tamper tantrum because of it. ... The president's advisers should have been telling the president the truth all the long. And too many, unfortunately, of my Republican colleagues here in the Senate and in the House seem too afraid to tell the president when he's wrong,” Schumer said. 

Both sides remain far apart over funding for the border, with Tuesday’s White House showdown increasing the chances of a partial government shutdown. Trump and Republicans are demanding $5 billion for the border, while Democrats say $1.3 billion is their cap. 

Schumer added on Wednesday that Trump should accept their offer because, even if there is a partial shutdown, Democrats will take over the House on Jan. 3 and pass their preferred funding bill.

“For whatever it’s worth to him, [it’s] better to solve this now because you’re going to be stuck with it two weeks from now after an unfortunate government shutdown caused by your president if you don’t act now,” Schumer said, adding that Republicans should “help pull the president back from the brink.”

Schumer pointed to McConnell specifically, saying he didn’t make a “peep” about government funding during his speech from the Senate floor on Wednesday.  

“Leader McConnell says he doesn’t want a shutdown, but he refuses to engage with the president to tell him what’s transparently obvious to everyone else. There will be no additional money for the wall,” Schumer said.


He added that McConnell had an “obligation” to “help persuade the president” to accept one of the Democratic offers.

“The idea that Sen. McConnell has nothing to do with appropriations as majority leader of the Senate who still is on that committee does not withstand the slightest scrutiny,” Schumer said.

McConnell, speaking to reporters after the meeting, warned against a partial shutdown of the government.

“I hope that’s not where we end up. I understand it was a rather spirited meeting,” McConnell told reporters when asked by reporters about Trump’s threat.

He added that a partial shutdown would be a political mistake for both parties.

“One thing I think is pretty clear no matter who precipitates the government shutdown is, the American people don’t like it,” he said.