On Tuesday, President Donald Trump told Democratic leaders at the White House that he will shut down the US government because they refuse to approve billions of dollars in funding for his controversial Mexico border wall.

The president and top opposition congressional leaders were meant to hold a reassuring Oval Office photo-op. Instead, their blazing row in front of the world’s media gave a glimpse of the dire challenges confronting Trump as he reels from legal scandals and the new reality of his Republican party no longer controlling Congress.

Chuck Schumer, the senior Democrat in the still Republican-dominated Senate, and Nancy Pelosi, who is likely to become speaker in the newly Democrat-controlled House in January, bluntly told Trump that he had no chance of getting the $5 billion he wants for the wall.

Then President Trump also doubled down on earlier threats to retaliate by refusing to sign a federal spending bill required by December 21 to avoid leaving swaths of the government without funding.

“Yes, if we don’t get what we want one way or the other, I will shut down the government. I am proud to shut down the government for border security” Trump said.

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