President Donald Trump battled with the top Democrats in Congress on Tuesday in an explosive Oval Office confrontation over funding for the president's proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and the looming deadline for a spending package to keep the government running.
The heated negotiations between Trump, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., took place in full view of television cameras.
Trump repeatedly threatened to shut down the government if Congress does not grant him $5 billion to fund a wall along the southern border. Congress has until Dec. 21 to pass a spending bill to maintain normal operations for seven government agencies.
Pelosi insisted that the meeting be moved out of the public eye, saying she wanted "to have a conversation and not a debate in front of the press on this."
"Let's call a halt to this. We've come in here, the first branch of government, Article I, the legislative branch, coming in good faith to negotiate with you about how we can keep the government open," she said.
But Trump fired back, noting at one point that "it's not bad, Nancy, it's called transparency."
The president said he did not want to shut down the government, but later said that it would make him proud to do so.
"I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck, because the people of this country don't want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country," Trump said.
Studies have shown that first-generation immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than those born in the United States.
Schumer knocked the president for his repeated misstatements, noting that a fact checker had recently given Trump "a lot of Pinocchios because they say you constantly misstate how much of the wall is built and how much is there."