Trump threatens a government shutdown over funding for the wall and says he will take the blame.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi privately questioned President Donald Trump’s “manhood” after a contentious meeting Tuesday about funding his wall at the southern border.
“It’s like a manhood thing for him,” Pelosi told Democratic members at a closed meeting of the Steering and Policy Committee on Capitol Hill, according to an aide in the room. “As if manhood could ever be associated with him. This wall thing.”
Pelosi, in a feisty mood after the heated exchange with the President, also compared the President to a skunk.
“I was trying to be the mom,” the California Democrat said, according to the aide. “I can’t explain it to you. It was so wild. It goes to show you: You get into a tickle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.”
The press-filled Oval Office meeting had been slated to cover border wall funding and the looming possibility of a partial government shutdown, but it quickly gave way to a reality TV atmosphere, with jabs between the President and Democratic leaders.
Pelosi also told members that she and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer got Trump to take full accountability for the possible partial shutdown. Government funding runs out for about 25% of federal government spending on December 21.
“The fact is we did get him to say, to fully own that the shutdown was his,” she said to applause, according to the aide. “That was an accomplishment.”
During the White House meeting, Pelosi and Schumer, a New York Democrat, referenced the possible government freeze as a “Trump shutdown.”
“If we don’t get what we want, one way or the other … I will shut down the government,” Trump said.
After the meeting, Pelosi revealed to Democrats that Trump had claimed in their private session that Mexico would pay for the wall — his oft-stated campaign promise that he has abandoned since taking office.
“He says, ‘Mexico is going to pay for the wall.’ I said, ‘They’re not paying for the wall,’ ” Pelosi said, according to an aide. “He said, ‘They’re paying for the wall with the money we’re gonna make over the newly revised USMCA,’ formerly known as NAFTA, whatever it is, formerly known as NAFTA. I said, ‘You’re going to take the money we made from the trade agreement. Well, that’s an opportunity cost, Mr. President, for American workers and our economy that’s supposed to benefit from that.’ ”