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Government shutdown - LIVE: Trump walks out of meeting with Democrats 'in temper tantrum' when Pelosi 'said no to wall funding'

President trying to 'stoke fear and divert attention' from administration's woes, say opponents

Clark Mindock
New York
,Jon Sharman,Chris Stevenson
Wednesday 09 January 2019 23:28
Comments
Donald Trump 'slammed a table' and walked out when Democrats refused to agree to his border wall, says Chuck Schumer

Donald Trump has walked out of a White House meeting with Congressional leadership over the government shutdown after Democrats indicated they would offer no funding for his promised wall on the US-Mexico border.

“He asked [House] Speaker [Nancy] 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,” Chuck Schumer, the leading Democrat in the Senate said.

Mr Trump tweeted the meeting was "total waste of time" and said he offered to open up the government for 30 days if Democrats supported the building of the wall.

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The Independent will be covering the government shutdown live again today (Wednesday).

A few points from overnight:

- Donald Trump gave a prime-time televised address in which he invited Democrats to the White House for negotiations

- The president called the border situation a "growing humanitarian crisis"

- Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the top Democrats in congress, broadcast a joint response accusing Mr Trump of "malice" and "stoking fear"

Jon Sharman9 January 2019 11:15
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The US government has been partially closed for more than two weeks. Some 800,000 government workers are affected; either on furlough, working without pay or on unpaid leave. Essential services like law enforcement are still open.

Jon Sharman9 January 2019 11:15
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Some Republicans are growing weary of Mr Trump's refusal to countenance a spending bill that does not include funds for his long-promised border wall.

Lisa Murkowski, the Alaska senator, said the wall issue should be "set aside" from the funding of other government departments.

Here is our full story on the GOP representatives moving away from the president's position:

Jon Sharman9 January 2019 11:17
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Earlier this morning we reported that a new poll showed most Americans blame Mr Trump for the shutdown, despite his attempts to shift responsibility onto his opponents.

The president had promised not to blame Democrats and said he would be "proud" to shutter key government departments - but this resolution did not last long.

Jon Sharman9 January 2019 11:23
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Mr Trump's 10-minute address was his first such message to the American people.

He used it to repeat his demands for border wall funding but attempted to strike a more sober tone than usual.

"This is humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul," he said, adding: “Every day customs and border patrol agents encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country.

"We are out of space to hold them and we have no way to promptly return them back home to their country.

"America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation. But, all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration."

You can read our coverage of the speech here:

Jon Sharman9 January 2019 11:29
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Market analysts have weighed in amid the shutdown.

"Trump did not declare a national emergency, nor did he hint toward one, which might have been a fear before the speech," Stephen Innes of Oanda said in a commentary.

Meanwhile, he said "currencies are holding firm riding the wave sentiment from the positive buzz in US-China trade talks".

Additional reporting by AP

Jon Sharman9 January 2019 11:42
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  ↵Reports have come in suggesting Donald Trump is consulting with Fox News television hosts over the shutdown.

Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs urged the president to stay on course, it was reported.

Jon Sharman9 January 2019 11:51
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Jon Sharman9 January 2019 12:07
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Last week, in what was presumably a rhetorical flourish, Mr Trump warned that he would be content to extend the shutdown for "months or even years".

However, credit rating agency Fitch said on Wednesday that the US could risk its triple-A status if the impasse goes on until 1 March and affects its debt ceiling.

"If this shutdown continues to 1 March and the debt ceiling becomes a problem several months later, we may need to start thinking about the policy framework, the inability to pass a budget... and whether all of that is consistent with triple-A," Fitch's global head of sovereign ratings James McCormack said.

"From a rating point of view it is the debt ceiling that is problematic," he added.

A shutdown of about a quarter of the US government entered its 19th day on Wednesday.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Jon Sharman9 January 2019 12:23
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The current government shutdown is one of the longest ever experienced by the US.

Now in its 19th day, it is only just shy of the record 21-day period for which departments ground to a halt between December 1995 and January 1996, under Bill Clinton.

Additional reporting by AP

Jon Sharman9 January 2019 13:07

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