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U.S. President Donald Trump (2R) talks about border security with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (R) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as Vice President Mike Pence sits nearby in the Oval Office on December 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

"It's Called Transparency": Donald, Chuck, and Nancy Hold Rare Public Talks as Negotiations Erupt on Live TV

"That was wild," said NBC's correspondent after the "stunning" exchange between Democratic leaders and the president over wall funding and a looming government shutdown

Common Dreams staff

A press availability at the White House with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Democratic leader in the House Nancy Pelosi broke into bizarre—as well as refreshing—public negotiation on Tuesday as the Democrats and the president sparred over funding for a border wall and the prospect of a government shutdown if a budget deal is not reached before a fast-approaching deadline.

"I will shut down the government," the president declared at one point. "And I am proud to shut down the government for border security."

"Let's debate in private," Schumer said at one point as the argument became heated.

"It's called transparency," said Trump about the press witnessing the debate.

"But," Pelosi interjected, "it's not transparency when we're not stipulating to a set of facts."

Like so much in the age of Trump, you really have to see it for yourself. Watch the full exchange:

"If we don't have border security," Trump declared at one point, "we'll shut down the government."

Schumer repeatedly said that the Democrats have no interest in a government shutdown and Pelosi told the president that he doesn't even have the votes among the Republicans who control the House to get the kind of funding he is demanding.

After the conclusion of the exchange, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell asked White House correspondent Peter Alexander if he'd "ever seen anything like in the Oval Office between the Democratic leaders and the president of the United States?"

"Ah," Alexander responded, "that was wild. I've never seen anything like that. Certainly not in the Oval Office."


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