Nancy Pelosi Says Trump Thinks Unpaid Federal Workers Can Just 'Ask Their Fathers for More Money'

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi accused President Donald Trump of not truly understanding the government shutdown's effect on federal workers, after a meeting at the Oval Office on Wednesday that the president declared a "total waste of time."

Emerging from a White House meeting with Trump over the ongoing partial government shutdown—which will soon enter its third week with no resolution in sight—Pelosi told reporters that the president didn't understand the financial hardships that federal workers faced as a result of the shutdown. Around one-fourth of all U.S. government departments have been affected by the shutdown, with approximately 800,000 federal employees either furloughed or working without pay.

"Many federal workers will not be receiving their paychecks, and what that means in their lives is tragic... The president seems to be insensitive to that," Pelosi said. "He thinks maybe they could just ask their father for more money. But they can't."

She added: "If you don't understand financial insecurity, then you would have a policy that takes pride in saying, 'I'm going to keep the government shut down for months or years unless you totally agree to my position.'"

Trump held a brief meeting with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday, which, according to Schumer, ended abruptly after the president "slammed the table" and "just walked out" of the room because the Democrats refused to budge on the border wall issue.

"That's cruel, that's callous and that's using millions of innocent people as sort of pawns, and it was wrong," Schumer told reporters, referring to Trump. "And then, a few minutes later, he sort of slammed the table and when leader Pelosi said she didn't agree with a wall, he just walked out and said, 'We have nothing to discuss.' He said it was a waste of his time."

Confirming part of Schumer's claim, the president tweeted that he said "bye-bye" after Pelosi shot down his request for "border security which includes a wall or steel barrier."

Tuesday night, the president addressed the nation on prime-time television from the White House Oval Office and pleaded his case for more than $5 billion in funding to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, calling the border situation a "humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul."

Pelosi and Schumer rebuked the president's statement and version of the facts immediately after as "full of misinformation and even malice."

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks while flanked by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, left, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer at the White House after meeting with President Donald Trump about ending the partial government shutdown, on January 9. Getty/Mark Wilson
Nancy Pelosi Says Trump Thinks Unpaid Federal Workers Can Just 'Ask Their Fathers for More Money' | U.S.