A rancorous first glimpse of new Trump-Democrats dynamic — AP Analysis

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer D-N.Y. and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi D-Calif. in the Oval Office of the White House Tuesday Dec. 11 2018 in Washington. (AP

The president insisted on funding for a wall and vowed to take the blame for a government shutdown, if that's what it takes.

President Donald Trump told top Democrats on Tuesday that Mexico would be paying for his southern border wall, thanks to his recently signed United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement, according to a recounting of the meeting by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

"If we don't have border security, we'll shut down the government", Trump said. If Trump "wants to shut down the government over Christmas over the wall, that's his decision", he said. "If I think it's good for the country, if I think it's good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made - which is a very important thing - what's good for national security, I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary".

"If we got $5 billion, we could do a tremendous chunk of wall", Trump responded, but he added that "it's a tough issue because we are on very opposite sides".

Schumer and Pelosi are urging the president to find another solution, with Schumer saying "we shouldn't shut down the government over a dispute".

When Pelosi said Trump did not have sufficient support for the wall in the House, Trump interjected: "Nancy, I do".

But in public and private, she can be unsparing in her clapbacks, and never more so than during the Trump presidency.

"When the president brags he has won North Dakota and IN, he's IN real trouble", retorted Mr Schumer with a smile. Since taking office and requesting money from Congress to fund the wall and border security, the President has shifted his call for funding, claiming that Mexico will now "reimburse" the U.S. for the wall.

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Trump said he looked forward to meeting with Schumer and Pelosi, but claimed they don't want border security for "strictly political reasons".

"We gave the president two options that would keep the government open", Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement after the meeting.

Also in a fighting mood, Schumer accused Trump of threatening a shutdown "because you can't get your way". "There are many ways to secure a border." - to reporters asking Tuesday about Trump's wall.

It was a new reality that Trump, still smarting from his party's losses on November 6, appeared to be struggling to internalize as his demands for border wall funds fell flat with those he'll need as partners to deliver on his priorities. "Senate Republicans are working with the president and his homeland security team on a $5.02 billion targeted funding to boost security measures in specific places where DHS determines it is most needed". Yes, some barrier renovation has happened, but little wall construction has been completed under Trump.

"Well, I hope that's not where we end up", McConnell told reporters after Mr. Trump's meeting with Schumer and Pelosi. "This wall thing", she said, according to the aide.

Under the plan Democrats are offering Trump, funding for the Homeland Security Department would remain largely flat through 2019.

If Trump rejects that, Democrats are urging a continuing resolution that would fund all the remaining appropriations bills at current levels through September 30. "I think Congress should do what the American people want".

But House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said Democrats were the ones playing politics. Additionally, the House will include a record number of women elected in the #MeToo era - a lot of them Democrats - injecting gender into the discussion like never before.

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