Schumer blasts Trump over additional wall funding

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, in Washington.

The US president claimed that if the Democrats will not approve funding for his border wall, he was willing to allow a lapse in federal government funding which would see large parts of the government close down.

"We simply can not allow people to pour into the United States, undetected, undocumented, unchecked", Obama says before the camera returns to Trump, who then accuses Democrats of opposing his funding requests for the wall on personal animus.

It was not immediately clear which wall Trump was referring to, the West Bank security barrier or Israel's border fences - some of which are still in the process of being built.

She told colleagues that she was "trying to be the mum" in the room while Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer bickered about the coming funding showdown.

Even with term limits, Pelosi could eventually double the time she served as speaker if Democrats retain their majority in 2020 and she wins the caucus votes she needs.

Pelosi had previously said that seeking Trump's tax returns would be one of the Democratic-led House's priorities.

"Another very bad terror attack in France", Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

White House officials offered little commentary on the remarkable Oval Office confrontation beyond admonishing Democrats for trying to move the proceedings out of public view.

The agreement, to be ratified by the House Democrats on February 15, also proposes term limits on Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who is 79 and Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn, D-S.C., who is 78.

In fact, he said, he's proud to do so, and will take credit for it.

It was a new reality that Trump, still smarting from his party's losses on November 6, appeared to be struggling to internalize as his demands for border wall funds fell flat with those he'll need as partners to deliver on his priorities. "Chuck and Nancy must give us the votes to get additional Border Security!" he said.

"The question is where do we go from there", she said.

"I am comfortable with the proposal and it is my intention to abide by it whether it passes or not", Pelosi said. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday defended Trump's US$5 billion request, saying "the need is great".

"I think they'll take the first steps".

Opponents say the wall is not only a waste of money but has been used by the president to whip up xenophobia.

Despite Trump's claims, no new concrete wall has been built along the U.S. -Mexico border since the president began his term past year, although some new fencing has been put up.

Trump also tweeted that the US military would build the wall if Democrats refuse to give him the money needed.

  • Jacqueline Ellis