Today Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi visited the White House for a televised meeting with President Trump. The room was full of reporters, cameras and microphones, so the event was staged for the benefit of the press and television viewers. It was described as a negotiation session, but needless to say, no negotiations took place. I’m not sure what Pelosi and Schumer expected to gain, but Trump obviously set out to frame the conversation in terms of border security and the need for a wall, and to dominate the discussion. He succeeded, I think.
Pelosi and Schumer disingenuously claimed to be in favor of border security, but alleged that a wall is not necessary. No doubt their partisans will buy that approach (and discount the purported interest in border security), but I doubt that anyone else will. Schumer tried to turn the conversation to the prospect of a government shutdown. That led to a dramatic confrontation at the conclusion of the event, when President Trump vowed to take responsibility for a shutdown if he doesn’t get funding for a wall.
The one potential gaffe of the staged event was Schumer’s scoffing at the states of Indiana and North Dakota–a gratuitous slam that can’t do his party any good.
Here is the video: