After President Donald Trump walked out of a meeting in the situation room with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday, he told the media on Thursday ― repeatedly ― that, despite what Schumer said about the exchange, he didn’t throw a temper tantrum.
Trump has pressed for the current government shutdown to get funding for his proposed border wall, leading Schumer and Pelosi to meet with the president for negotiations. Trump asked Pelosi if she would approve funding for the wall within 30 days if he reopened the government and then left the meeting after that request was denied. The president is attempting to secure some $5 billion in taxpayer money for the project.
Schumer told reporters after the meeting that, “Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn’t get his way, and he just walked out of the meeting.”
Trump tweeted directly after the meeting and again on Thursday morning, writing that he didn’t slam a table, but “politely said bye-bye.”
Trump doubled down on his defense and told reporters on the White House lawn on Thursday that the Democrats are “Pinocchios.”
“Well the news incorrectly reported, because I said, ’Well, if we go back and everything is peachy dory and you say we’ll talk over thirty days, at the end of thirty days are you going to give us great border security, which includes a wall or a steel barrier, she said no,” said Trump.
“I didn’t pound the table, I didn’t raise my voice. That was a lie,” he added.
Trump said that anyone could ask others in the room like Vice President Mike Pence or House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif), and they would have corroborated his story.
“I didn’t rant. I didn’t rave... I don’t have temper tantrums, I really don’t,” he said, before adding, “all of that narrative is a lie.”
Trump did add that he “should have” smashed the table, but he did not.
The partial government shutdown has now lasted 20 days, and there does not appear to be an end in sight. Also on Thursday morning, Trump claimed he “obviously” never said or meant that Mexico would write a check for the border wall, but that they would simply pay for it.
While talking to reporters outside the White House on Thursday, Trump attacked the media, calling them “fake news” said: “When during the campaign I would say Mexico is going to pay for it, obviously I never said this, and I never meant they’re going to write out a check. I said they’re going to pay for it. They are.”