Schumer Scoffs at North Dakota, Indiana; Pelosi Worries That Government Workers Are Losing Jobs

By Susan Jones | December 12, 2018 | 5:59am EST
President Trump insists on $5 billion for a border wall, but Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer say no. (Photo: Screen capture/C-SPAN)

( - In an off-the-cuff remark at Tuesday's contentious meeting with President Trump, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer showed some liberal scorn for fly-over country.

In that same meeting, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said "people are losing their jobs," then referred to House Republicans who lost their seats in the  midterm election.

The remarks came as President Trump repeatedly insisted that a border wall means border security. "It totally solves the problem, and it's very important," Trump told the two liberal lawmakers sitting with him at the White House as the cameras rolled.

Pelosi complained that their conversation had "spiralled downward," and she said the emphasis should be on "how do we meet the needs of American people, who have needs. The economy has -- people are losing their jobs. The market's in a mood," she said.

Trump interrupted her: "Well, we have the lowest unemployment that we've had in 50 years," he said.

"Sixty people of the Republican Party have lost -- are losing their offices now because of the transition," Pelosi replied.

"And we gained in the Senate," Trump interrupted. "Nancy, we've gained in the Senate. Excuse me, did we win the Senate? We won the Senate," Trump said.

That was Schumer's cue: "When the president brags that he won North Dakota and Indiana, he's in real trouble," Schumer said.

"I did," Trump told Schumer. "We did. We did win North Dakota and Indiana."

U.S. Senate seats in both of those states flipped from Democrat to Republican in the midterms, giving Republicans a two-seat pickup and Democrats a two-seat loss.

Pelosi at that point objected to holding their conversation "in the public view." She called it "the most unfortunate thing."

"But it's not bad, Nancy. It's called transparency," Trump told her.

Pelosi campaigned on a promise of Democrat transparency and accountability. The day after the midterm election, she promised that the new, Democrat-majority House would "go forward in a very open transparent, bipartisan, unifying" way.

But in Tuesday's meeting, she told Trump, "It's not transparency when we're not stipulating to a set of facts, and when we wanted to have a debate with you about saying -- we confront some of those facts, without saying to the public, this isn't true."

Trump cut her off: "You know what, we need border security. That's what we're going to be talking about, border security. If we don't have border security, we'll shut down the government. This country needs border security. The wall is a part of border security. Let's have a talk. We're going to get the wall built, and we've done a lot of wall already."

Democrats have ruled out $5 billion for Trump's border wall. On Tuesday, they gave him two options: (1) Pass the six remaining appropriation bills for which there is bipartisan agreement, and separately, pass a one-year continuing resolution for the Homeland Security Department. That CR would keep DHS funding at current levels, meaning Trump would get only $1.3 billion for his wall.

(2) Or, option two, agree to a one-year continuing resolution for all the remaining agencies, including DHS.

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