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

Vice President Pence defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE's conduct on Wednesday following a meeting with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPence says it's 'vital' for Congress to pass US-Mexico-Canada trade deal The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump heads to California Obama, Bush among those paying tribute to Cokie Roberts: 'A trailblazing figure' 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 McConnellHillary Clinton: Voter suppression has led to 'crisis in democracy' in the US New York Times authors blame Kavanaugh correction on editing error: 'There was zero intent to mislead' The Hill's Morning Report - What is Trump's next move on Iran? MORE (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump touts Washington Post story on GOP support Pence extends olive branch to Cummings after Trump's Baltimore attacks Marijuana industry donations to lawmakers surge in 2019: analysis MORE (R-Calif.).

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"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.