WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has walked out of a meeting with Democratic leaders as negotiations broke down on the 19th day of a US government shutdown.
The Republican president ended talks after Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer stuck by their refusal to fund his planned US-Mexico border wall.
Trump called his meeting with the pair “a total waste of time”. Some 800,000 federal workers will go without pay this week for the first time since the shutdown began.
The president tweeted afterwards that he had said “bye-bye” to the top Democrats.
Outside the White House the blame game was in full flow from both sides after Wednesday’s meeting in the Situation Room, a conference centre in the West Wing basement.
Pelosi, who is speaker of the House of Representatives, said the legion of unpaid federal employees were “collateral damage” to Trump.
“The president seems to be insensitive to that,” she said. “He thinks maybe they could just ask their father for more money. But they can’t.”
Schumer told reporters the president had abruptly left when Pelosi said she would not approve any wall funding.
The Senate Democratic leader said: “He asked Speaker Pelosi, ‘Will you agree to my wall?’ She said no.
“And he just got up and said, ‘Then we have nothing to discuss,’ and he just walked out.
“Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn’t get his way.”
The New York senator also said Trump had “slammed the table”, but Vice-President Mike Pence disputed this.