President Trump told reporters at an impromptu press conference on Wednesday that he will not negotiate with Democrats in Congress on an infrastructure package or other bipartisan policy proposals until they call off their investigations.
"Instead of walking in happily into a meeting, I walk into, look at people that have just said that I was doing a cover-up. I don't do cover-ups. ... I walked into the room and I told Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi that I want to do infrastructure ... but you can't do it under these circumstances."
Context: This morning, following a Democratic caucus meeting to discuss impeachment, Pelosi told reporters that Trump was "engaged in a cover-up" by stonewalling congressional oversight. Trump was scheduled to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to discuss infrastructure at the White House, but the meeting only lasted 5 minutes.
- According to a Democratic aide, Trump walked in, didn’t shake anyone’s hand or sit in his seat. He said he wants to do infrastructure, trade agreement, farm bill and other things, but that Pelosi "said something terrible today" when she accused him of a cover-up.
- Trump said that they could talk about these shared priorities once the investigations are done. He then left the room before anyone else could speak.
What they're saying: "He just took a pass," Pelosi told reporters, reacting to Trump blowing up at their meeting. "And it just makes me wonder why he did that. In any event, I pray for the president of the United States and I pray for the United States."
- Schumer added: "To watch what happened in the White House would make your jaw drop. ... There were investigations going on three weeks ago when we met. And he still met with us. But now that he was forced to actually say how he would pay for it, he had to run away. ... It's clear that this was not a spontaneous move on the president's part. It was planned."
The other side: Trump said in a tweet Wednesday night: "In a letter to her House colleagues, Nancy Pelosi said: 'President Trump had a temper tantrum for us all to see.' This is not true. I was purposely very polite and calm, much as I was minutes later with the press in the Rose Garden. Can be easily proven. It is all such a lie!"