During an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) repeatedly asked the President why he wouldn’t accept a deal from Democrats to reopen the government while both sides negotiate on funding for the border wall. President Trump demurred before finally admitting he would “look foolish” if he compromised.
According to a person familiar with the exchange who spoke to CNN, Democrats explained their proposal to Trump — which would fund the government, including the Department of Homeland Security, temporarily while both sides continue to negotiate — and Schumer persistently pressed Trump on why he opposed the plan.
“I would look foolish if I did that,” Trump finally responded, according to CNN’s source.
Trump forced the government shutdown over funding for his border wall after receiving criticism from his base over his support of a bipartisan spending bill that would keep the government open until February. According to CNN, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen attempted to portray the situation at the border to lawmakers as a “crisis” that needed an immediate resolution — funding for the wall.