Pence says Trump 'passed out candy' and didn't raise his voice in shutdown meeting

Vice President Pence defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report MORE's conduct on Wednesday following a meeting with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPelosi, Dems plot strategy after end of Mueller probe Coons after Russia probe: House Dems need to use power in 'focused and responsible way' Trump, Congress brace for Mueller findings MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), following claims from Democrats that the president stormed out of the meeting.

Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn, Pence said that Trump remained calm during the meeting and began by passing out candy to his guests, which also included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellConservatives wage assault on Mueller report Overnight Energy: Interior reverses decision at heart of Zinke criminal probe | Dem divisions deepen over approach to climate change | GM to add 400 workers to build electric cars Trump: Green New Deal 'the most preposterous thing' and 'easy to beat' MORE (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse leaders need to modernize Congress for the sake of America Overnight Energy: McConnell tees up vote on Green New Deal | Centrist Dems pitch alternative to plan | House Republican likens Green New Deal to genocide | Coca-Cola reveals it uses 3M tons of plastic every year House GOP lawmaker says Green New Deal is like genocide MORE (R-Calif.).

ADVERTISEMENT

"The president walked into the room and passed out candy. It's true," Pence told reporters. "I don't recall him ever raising his voice or slamming his hand."

"He never raised his voice," added McCarthy, who was standing behind Pence during the press conference.

"This is a president who feels very strongly about his commitment to see to the security of the American people," Pence continued, explaining Trump's continued demand for border wall funding in any bill to reopen the government.

"He brought the whole issue to the center of the national debate when he sought this office," Pence added.

Democrats exited Wednesday's meeting complaining of a "temper tantrum" they said Trump had during the meeting, which according to Pelosi and Schumer ended with the president abruptly leaving the meeting after Pelosi refused his latest demand for $5.7 billion in border security funding.

The president meanwhile slammed the meeting with Democrats as a "waste of time," signaling that the partial shutdown of the federal government will continue while the White House and congressional Democrats are unable to reach an agreement.

"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," Trump tweeted after the meeting, adding: "I said bye-bye, nothing else works!" 

McCarthy at the Capitol after the meeting also disputed accounts that Trump lashed out.

"The president turned to Nancy — and it was all very calm — and he asked her, ‘OK, if I open up the government, in 30 days could we have border security?’ And she said, ‘No, not at all.’ ”

Pressed on Trump's precise request, McCarthy said, “He may have said 'border wall.' "

"He didn’t slam his hands down, he just said, ‘Alright, I guess you guys don’t want to do anything.’ ”

McCarthy, who was also asked about the candy, reported it was “Butterfingers and a couple of other types. It was a mix.”

-Mike Lillis contributed.