President Donald Trump, future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer erupted in an on-camera fight in the Oval Office over border wall funding on Tuesday.
The president argued that funding the wall was a “national emergency” and proposed $5 billion in funding. Schumer refused, insisting that he would only provide just $1.6 billion in border security funds.
In response, Trump said he would shut down the government and take responsibility for it if they failed to include additional wall funding.
“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck, because the people of this country don’t want criminals and people that have lots of problems, and drugs pouring into our country,” he said in response to Schumer. “So I will take the mantle, I will be the one to shut it down, I’m not going to blame you for it.”
Trump admitted that border security was a “tough issue” noting that Pelosi and Schumer opposed the idea of a wall. He cited border statistics showing that illegal traffic dropped very substantially after they finished portions of the wall barriers.
“I don’t think you should have a debate in front of the press,” she said.
Schumer also protested that the discussion was taking place in front of the press.
“Let’s debate in private,” he pleaded.