CNN's Don Lemon on Trump and Pelosi Going Toe to Toe: 'It's a Whole New World, a World Where He Can't Bully Congress'

CNN host Don Lemon told viewers on Thursday night that President Donald Trump could no longer "bully Congress" when he goes "toe to toe" with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the standoff over funding for the border wall that has shut down the government.

Congress is now sworn in and Pelosi confirmed as speaker by the new Democrat majority in the House of Representatives following the party's November midterms triumph. Though the House flipped back to the Democrats, Republicans increased their Senate majority.

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Trump is demanding $5 billion to fund the construction of a wall at the southern border which he claims will keep undocumented migrants out of the United States. Democrats are not willing to approve a budget that funds the wall, which they view as an expensive, ineffective political gimmick.

That impasse over the budget has caused a partial shutdown of the federal government since December 22, and despite ongoing bipartisan talks there is little sign of progress in agreeing on a deal that will pass through Congress.

Though Trump later blamed Democrats for the shutdown, at a heated meeting before Christmas with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the president declared he was "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."

"So here we are, the first day of Congress, Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump going toe to toe," Lemon said on his show, noting comments by the house speaker that the president would get "nothing" to fund the wall.

"As of today, it's a whole new world, a world where President Trump doesn't control Congress; a world where he can't rely on his own party to push through his agenda; a world where he can't bully Congress into giving him exactly wants.

"Because when Nancy Pelosi retook the gavel today, when Democrats took control of the House, they ushered in the most diverse Congress in history."

Pelosi was asked on NBC's Today show if she would give Trump some of the money he wants for the wall in order to end the shutdown, which has left hundreds of thousands of federal employees unpaid.

"No, nothing for the wall," Pelosi said. "We're talking about border security. We can go through this back-and-forth. No. How many more times can we say no? No—nothing for the wall."

House Democrats passed their own budget bill to reopen the federal departments closed by the shutdown, though it would need Senate approval to become law—and that looks unlikely.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the House Democrats' budget plan a "total nonstarter" and urged them to get "serious."

"It's exactly the kind of proposal you'd expect if the incoming House Democrats are choosing to stage a political sideshow rather than doing the hard work of helping govern the country. In other words, a total nonstarter," McConnell told the Senate, as reported by The Hill.

Donald Trump White House shutdown
President Donald Trump listens to a speaker in the briefing room at the White House on January 3. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
CNN's Don Lemon on Trump and Pelosi Going Toe to Toe: 'It's a Whole New World, a World Where He Can't Bully Congress' | U.S.