White House Stands Firm On Wall Funding After Trump Meeting With Democrats

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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After a fiery Oval Office meeting between President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders Tuesday, the White House is standing firm in its demand for more border wall funding in a spending bill set to expire Dec. 21.

U.S. President Donald Trump (2R) talks about border security with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (R) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as Vice President Mike Pence sits nearby in the Oval Office on December 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

“President Trump had a constructive dialogue with Democrat Leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, adding, “President Trump made clear that any government funding measure must include responsible border security, including a wall, to protect the American people from drugs, crime, terrorism, public health threats, and the severe straining of the social safety net.”

“So far, the Democrat Party has made clear they would rather keep the border open than the government open,” Sanders continued. “President Trump was grateful for the opportunity to let the press into the meeting so that the American People can see firsthand that while Republicans are fighting to protect our border, Democrats are fighting to protect illegal immigrants.” (RELATED: Trump Brawls Face-To-Face With Pelosi, Schumer Over Wall Funding)

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (L) and incoming House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (C) confer with US Presiden Donald Trump (R) December 11, 2018 at the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP)

Trump all but declared the same to Pelosi and Schumer’s face during the meeting, telling the Senate minority leader, “I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck.”

“People in this country don’t want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country,” the president continued. “I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I won’t blame you for it. The last time, you shut it down. It didn’t work.”

Schumer and Pelosi said after the meeting that “Republicans still control the House, the Senate and the White House, and they have the power to keep government open. Our country cannot afford a ‘Trump Shutdown,’ especially at this time of economic uncertainty.”