He was just getting started.
He then invited Schumer and Pelosi to the Oval Office to sit down with him and debate funding the border wall, with TV cameras rolling.
It was a sight to behold:
Trump: “We’re gonna keep [the government] open if we have border security. If we don’t have border security, we’re not gonna keep it open.”
It gets even better:
Trump: “I am proud to shut down the government for border security … I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it” pic.twitter.com/o4xmLRMOTH
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) December 11, 2018
This is extraordinary.
Unlike every other Republican of the past seven years, Trump is not cowering in fear of being blamed for a 😱GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN😱, but instead welcoming it and saying he will gladly shut the government down over the wall.
Schumer and Pelsoi’s entire strategy was based on the assumption that Trump, like Republicans before him, was terrified of getting blamed for a government shutdown.
So he completely turned the tables on them: you’re damn right I’ll shut the government down over the wall.
Chuck Schumer couldn’t even maintain eye contact.
Trump was so clearly dominating the debate that eventually Pelosi demanded to have the debate behind closed doors, so the American people couldn’t see:
President Trump engages in an Oval Office clash with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi over border security as the shutdown deadline looms
Pelosi: "I don't think we should have a debate in front of the press on this" pic.twitter.com/gopvtJKpXO
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 11, 2018
I’m sure that’s because their views on immigration are in line with those of the American people!
This is what we needed to see out of our President.
Trump clearly understands how massively important the wall is–not only to the country but to his base and the people that voted for him.
He is going all-out for the wall in very public fashion. This will rally his supporters who have become demoralized in the wake of the midterms.
It remains to be seen whether we’ll actually get anything significant on border wall funding, but we know Trump is doing all he can.