Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke with reporters upon returning to the Capitol after a meeting at the White House. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Q: President Trump walked out of that meeting. Is that it? End of negotiations?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, I would hope not. We had people over the weekend, in a series of meetings, trying to come to an agreement of stipulation of fact, of what the challenge is, of the merit of ways to protect our border. Border security is a high priority. It’s our oath we take to protect and defend our people, wherever that is and securing our border is part of that.
The President stomped out of that meeting when he said, ‘Will you support a wall?’ and I said, ‘No.’
Now, they’re trying to mischaracterize what he actually said. But that’s par for the course for going to the White House in the first place – mischaracterization.
Q: Madam Speaker, if the two sides can’t sit together to have a constructive conversation about this, where do you go from here?
Speaker Pelosi. We’ve been having conversations with him. But you cannot come to a conclusion if the President of the United States says ‘My way or the high way, there’s nothing to negotiate and, by the way, I am willing to hold the American, our federal workers hostage to my view.’
How pathetic is his argument, if he doesn’t even have confidence that he can prevail in the negotiation if he has to shut down government to strengthen his hand.
Q: You’ve been through a lot of high stakes negotiations, intense negotiations. How does what just happened compare to what you’ve just been through in the past?
Speaker Pelosi. 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.’
That’s just not the way democracy works, and so it’s very sad. And the sad part of it is, that when you are having a negotiation, you can’t negotiate unless you stipulate to fact and the President is presenting notions that really do not relate to fact, evidence, data or truth.