Donald Trump Argues with Top Democrats on Live TV, Threatens to Shut Down Government
US President Donald Trump in the White House (Photo: Videograb)

In what seems to be a precursor to the relationship that US President Donald Trump will have with Democrats elected to the House of Representatives, he got involved in a scrap on live camera with senior opposition party leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

Accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, Trump got into what was obviously a heated argument in the White House with future House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer over funding for a border wall.

Donald Trump then threatened the two Democrats with shutting down the government and said he would be "proud" to do so over border security. "I'll tell you what, I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck," Trump told the top Senate Democrat. "So, I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it."

Nancy Pelosi seemed to be embarrassed by arguing in front of the cameras but Trump seemed to be in his element. "We're here to have a conversation," said Pelosi at one point. "I don't think we should have a debate in front of the press." Pelosi said she wanted to avoid a "Trump shutdown."

But Trump and Schumer went at each other. Chuck Schumer said, "One thing that I think we can agree on is we shouldn't shut down the government over a dispute, and you want to shut it down."

TRUMP: "The last time, Chuck, you shut it down, and then you opened it up very quickly. I don't want to do what you did."

SCHUMER: "Twenty times you have called for, 'I will shut down the government if I don't get my wall.' None of us have said it."

TRUMP: "You want to know something? ... I'll take it. You know what I'll say? Yes, if we don't get what we want one way or the other, whether it's through you, through military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government."

SCHUMER: "We disagree."

TRUMP: "And I am proud ... I tell you what, 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. So, I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it. The last time you shut it down it didn't work. I will take the mantle of shutting down and I'm going to shut it down for border security."

Trump’s spat with Democrats on live TV comes as he been extremely unsuccessful at getting Mexico to pay to build his border wall. This was a common rallying cry during his election campaign in 2016.

He has also raised the bogey of an invading horde of migrants from Latin American countries to drum up support for his proposed border wall.