President Trump called out Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer for boycotting a White House meeting Tuesday afternoon, by leaving two chairs conspicuously empty — and accusing the no-show Democratic leaders of being “all talk” and “no action.”And now, it’s even worse. Today it’s not actually talking. Trump talked to the media after meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. However, the president was convinced to maintain two seats empty on either side of him, together with name tags for Pelosi and Schumer. On Tuesday morning, Pelosi and Schumer pulled out, in retaliation for a Trump tweet suggesting they couldn’t attain a bipartisan budget deal.
Following Trump’s open-seat display, Pelosi accused the president of & verbal abuse.
. @realDonaldTrump now understands that his verbal abuse will no longer be tolerated. His empty chair photo opp revealed he’s more interested in stunts than in addressing the needs of the American men and women. Sad!”
She tweeted. During the session with colleagues, Trump said that he was “not that surprised” the two top congressional Democrats did not appear for discussions on tax reform and attempts to avert a government shutdown.
.@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
“Nothing to these is important other than raising taxes,” Trump said.
“Meeting with ‘Chuck and Nancy’ today about keeping the government open and working.Problem is that they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are feeble on Crime and wish to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t find a deal!” Trump tweeted.
Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement: “Given that the president does not find a bargain between Democrats that the White House, we believe the best path forward is to continue negotiating with all our Republican counterparts in Congress instead.”
Schumer also said on the Senate floor that Trump wasn’t interested in a bipartisan deal.
“If the president, who already earlier this year said ‘Our country requires a fantastic shutdown’ … isn’t interested in addressing the end-of-the-year schedule, we will work with those that are interested in funding the authorities,” Schumer said.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders invited Pelosi and Schumer ahead of the meeting to “put aside their pettiness, stop the political grandstanding, appear and get to work.”McConnell and Ryan, who both attended the meeting, slammed the Democratic leaders due to their pullout.
“We’ve got important work to do, and Democratic leaders have continually found new excuses not to meet with the administration to discuss these issues,” McConnell and Ryan said in a joint announcement before the meeting, noting that “if Democrats wish to reach an agreement, they will be there.”
Congress has until Dec. 8 to pass stopgap legislation to keep the government open, and Tuesday’s protest from Pelosi and Schumer points to a difficult negotiation beforehand.
“We look forward to continuing to work in good faith, as we have been for the previous month, with our Republican colleagues in Congress to do just that,” Schumer and Pelosi said.