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Schumer: Negotiating with Trump 'like negotiating with Jell-O'

Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture How to fast-track climate action? EPA cutting super pollutant HFCs MORE (N.Y.) on Saturday blasted President TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE as an unreliable negotiating partner, fuming that working with him is “like negotiating with Jell-O" after a failure to secure a deal to avert a government shutdown.

“I told the president we Democrats were willing to fund the military at the highest levels in history, far above even his budget request,” said Schumer, who said he also offered to put Trump’s request for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border “on the table” at a White House meeting on Friday.

Schumer said Trump agreed to try for a four- or five-day government stopgap spending measure to give him and congressional leaders just enough time to reach a deal.

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But then, Schumer said, the president changed his mind.

“Several hours later he called back. He said, ‘So, I hear we have a three-week deal.’ I said, 'No, Mr. President, no one is even talking about a three-week deal,' ” Schumer recounted.

“Then a few hours later they called back again, ‘Well we’re going to need this, this, this in addition,’ ” Schumer said. “Things they knew were far, far right and off the table.”

“Negotiating with this White House is like negotiating with Jell-O,” Schumer said, drawing a comparison to the wobbly gelatin dessert.

“It’s next to impossible. As soon as you take one step forward, the hard-right forces the president three steps back,” Schumer said.

Schumer's comments came as lawmakers searched for a deal on Saturday to fund the government after Congress missed the deadline Friday night to prevent a shutdown.