President Donald Trump said he could not continue to negotiate bipartisan deals with Democrats in Congress until investigations into him were halted.
“You can’t do it,” the Associated Press reported Trump saying, regarding whether he could work with the opposition party at the same time that inquiries into his questionable financial dealings and possible obstruction of justice charges stemming from the Mueller report were ongoing.
His comments came about after he was set to meet with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in the White House on Wednesday. Trump abruptly ended that meeting just minutes into it, according to reporting from Axios.
President Trump blew up a meeting with Democratic leaders and lashed out at Speaker Nancy Pelosi for accusing him of a cover-up. https://t.co/zpGmdEtF7a
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 22, 2019
Trump said he had walked out of the meeting because Pelosi suggested earlier in the day that he was engaged in a “cover-up” due to his administration’s stonewalling of subpoenaed documents Congress had requested.
“Instead of walking in happily into a meeting, I walk into, look at people that have just said that I was doing a cover-up. I don’t do cover-ups,” Trump said.
Trump tried to add that he was ready to work on a deal.
“I walked into the room and I told Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi that I want to do infrastructure…but I can’t do it under these circumstances,” the president added.
The speech Trump gave to reporters at the White House was billed by his communications team as an impromptu one — although, looking at the podium where the president stood, it was clear there was at least some planning made ahead of time, as a placard detailing the costs of investigations had been placed in front of him.
Schumer, speaking to reporters after the president’s remarks, didn’t buy it, pointing out that the Democratic leaders had met with Trump in late April when they came to a tentative $2 trillion agreement on infrastructure. The meeting today was to hammer out a way to pay for the plan, according to reporting from the New York Times.
“There were investigations going on three weeks ago when we met. And he still met with us,” Schumer said Wednesday.
Schumer added that he believed Trump wanted to cancel the meeting after “he was forced to actually say how he would pay for it.”
“It’s clear that this was not a spontaneous move on the president’s part. It was planned,” Schumer further suggested.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.