“Chuck and Nancy” stood Donald Trump up for his budget-deal meeting, and he, apparently, is not going to let them forget it.
Pres Trump seated in Roosevelt Room between seats marked for no-shows Schumer and Pelosi. pic.twitter.com/tcmLG20wsZ— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) November 28, 2017
The president, flanked by two empty chairs for no-shows Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, said he was “not really that surprised” they didn’t come, even if the seating chart suggested otherwise. (At least he didn’t try to talk to the chairs.)
Meeting with “Chuck and Nancy” today about keeping government open and working. Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2017
Trump reiterated those sentiments at his press briefing. “We have a lot of differences,” Trump said of Schumer and Pelosi. “They’re weak on crime, they’re weak on illegal immigration, they want the illegal folks to come pouring into our border — and a lot of problems are being caused, although we’ve stopped it to a large extent, as much as you can without the wall, which we’re going to get.”
President Trump on Schumer & Pelosi: "They've been all talk. They've been no action. And now it's even worse. Now, it's not even talk." pic.twitter.com/rmDQ56UiRw— CSPAN (@cspan) November 28, 2017
Trump’s comments highlight the sticking points between Democrats and Republicans as the December 8 deadline to avert a government shutdown looms. Democrats want certain guarantees in any deal, including protections for unauthorized immigrants brought to the US as children and restored funding for CHIP, the children’s health insurance program. Trump wants a big, beautiful border wall.
“So they decided not to show up,” Trump continued. “They’ve been all talk, and they’ve been no action. And now it’s even worse. Now it’s not even talk.”
Trump added, “In light of the missile launch, they probably will be here fairly quickly.”
Schumer and Pelosi didn’t come rushing into that briefing, where Trump also weighed in on the Senate’s tax plan and North Korea’s missile launch. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan also reprimanded their Democratic colleagues for not showing up, though it was possible to almost miss their presence, sitting at far ends of the table.
After North Korea ballistic missile test, Trump says ‘we will take care of it’ pic.twitter.com/9B38XO1fUn— Andrew Beatty (@AndrewBeatty) November 28, 2017
Pelosi later responded to Trump’s empty-chair bit on Twitter, saying “it showed he was more interested in stunts than in addressing the needs of the American people.”
.@realDonaldTrump now knows that his verbal abuse will no longer be tolerated. His empty chair photo opp showed he’s more interested in stunts than in addressing the needs of the American people. Poor Ryan and McConnell relegated to props. Sad!— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) November 28, 2017
Pelosi and Schumer had previously said they would continue dialogue with their GOP counterparts, despite canceling on the president.