Donald Trump, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and Republican legislators, speaks to the press after lunch with GOP representatives, Capitol Hill, January 9, 2019 (Alex Brandon/AP)

Donald Trump has continued the Trump Shutdown of the Federal Government, dramatically walking out of a brief meeting with Congressional leaders.

On the 19th day of the shutdown, Trump left when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats would not give $5.7 billion for Trump’s $25 billion Wall with Mexico, even if Trump agreed on funding to reopen the government.

Democrats left the White House Situation Room speaking of a “temper tantrum” by Trump, slamming his hands on the table and departing with a “bye-bye”. Pelosi said:

It wasn’t even a high-stakes negotiation; it was a petulant president of the United States. A person who would say, “I’ll keep government shut down for weeks, months or years unless I get my way.”

Trump confirmed his walkout:

As news spread of the drama, pointing to Trump’s talk of a shutdown of “months or even years” and his possible declaration of a national emergency to bypass Congress for Wall money, the White House and Republicans scrambled to present a calm President in control. Vice President Mike Pence portrayed a Trump handing out candy: “I don’t recall him ever raising his voice or slamming his hand.”

But both White House and Democrat officials described a meeting in which Trump immediately insisted on the $5.7 billion for the Wall — having vetoed last week a compromise, presented by Pence, of $2.5 billion for border security — and Democrats said they support border security funds but no money for a 30-foot-tall concrete or steel barrier.

“You are using people as leverage; why won’t you open the government and stop hurting people?” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer asked.

“Then you won’t give me what I want,” Trump replied. (The White House official tried to soften the statement, saying that Trump added, “I am trying to do the right thing for the country. This isn’t about politics.”)

Democrat Senator Dick Durbin said GOP leaders were silent: “[Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell didn’t say a word at the meeting. Not a word, come to think of it, I don’t think [House Minority Leader Kevin] McCarthy did either.”

Schumer said later, “It was an amazing meeting. The president threw another temper tantrum, slammed the table and walked out.”

Pelosi threw shade on Trump with a reference to the $431 million that he received from his father and from tax manipulation to support his business:

On the floor of the House of Representatives, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — in her maiden speech — calls out Trump over the damage to workers, the poor, and migrants from the shutdown and the pursuit of The Wall:

Meanwhile Trump, speaking to reporters before the meeting with legislators, continued his threat to declare a national emergency:

Republicans Splintering?

Before the meeting, there were more signs of Republican legislators breaking from Trump amid concern over almost 800,000 Federal employees on furlough or unpaid work; walkouts by airport security staff; effects on food stamps, mortgages, tax refunds, and farm subsidies; and difficulties for manufacturers amid Trump’s trade war and tariffs.

At Trump’s lunch with GOP legislators, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska pledged to confront Trump over his tactics. Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, a conservative, said Senate Republicans were “getting pretty close” to a breaking point.

Trump insisted, “There was no discussion about anything other than solidarity.”

Just before the December 21 shutdown, the Senate unanimously passed a continuing resolution for Government funding, with $1.3 billion for border security. Trump rejected the measure.

Last Thursday, the House of Representatives — now controlled by Democrats — passed a similar measure, with separate funding for the Department of Homeland Security to continue discussion on border security. Senate Majority Leader McConnell has refused to allow Senators to consider the bill.

Some GOP senators met Wednesday evening with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, but made no apparent progress.

“[Trump is] like the Missouri mule who sits down in the mud and says, ‘I’m not moving,’” said Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana.

John Cornyn of Texas tried a more flattering analogy, “What did Benjamin Franklin say at the constitutional convention? We need to hang together or we’ll hang separately. That’s what it reminded me of.”

On Tuesday, Trump gave a nine-minute speech which appeared to fall flat. Today he will visit Texas for a photo opportunity on the Mexico border.

Trump has reportedly already dismissed any significance beyond presentation, telling reporters on Tuesday afternoon, “It’s not going to change a damn thing, but I’m still doing it.”

TrumpWatch, Day 719: Trump’s Non-Speech on Trump Shutdown and The Wall

He criticized the media without retracting the statement yesterday:

Senator Durbin said Trump offered the refrain yesterday, “I don’t know why I’m doing this. I didn’t want to do this meeting. They told me I had to do this meeting.”

Kevin Sieff of The Washington Post offers perspective on the area where Trump is staging his photo:

Rationalizing the “Terrorist” Lie

The White House tried to repair its line of a migrant threat on Wednesday.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders falsely said on Sunday that 4,000 “terrorists” had crossed into the US from Mexico, only to be challenged by Fox News interviewer Chris Wallace that the State Department had declared no terrorist entry.

Sanders told another Fox program yesterday that the lie didn’t matter.

Trump scrambled over his declaration of a “crisis”, given that undocumented crossings have decreased steadily over the past two decades: