Donald Trump has walked out of a meeting with Democrat leaders over his plans to build a wall on the United States and Mexico border, forcing a partial shutdown of the government to continue for the 19th day.
The US President closed down talks with Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrat Senate leader Chuck Schumer over funding for the wall, calling it a “total waste of time”, after they did not approve funding for the barrier.
Mr Trump said Mrs Pelosi rejected his request for funding, saying she said “no” when he asked if she would approve funding for a barrier, if he agreed to end the government shutdown.
Mr Schumer accused Mr Trump of having a tantrum when his request was rejected.
“He asked Speaker Pelosi, ‘Will you agree to my wall?’ she said no,” Mr Schumer said.
“He just got up and said, ‘Then we have nothing to discuss,’ and he just walked out.
Mrs Pelosi said the unpaid federal employees were “collateral” damage to Mr Trump.
Approximately 800,000 federal workers will be without pay this week for the first time since the start of the shutdown.
“The president seems to be insensitive to that,” she said.
“He thinks maybe they could just ask their father for more money. But they can’t.”
However, Vice-President Mike Pence said the Democrats did not want to negotiate.
“The President walked into the room and passed out candy,” Mr Pence said.
“I don’t recall him ever raising his voice or slamming his hand.”
Mr Trump has demanded $5.7 billion to build a steel barrier on the border of the US and Mexico.
If built, he would fulfil a key election promise.
Wednesday’s debate came a day after Mr Trump addressed the nation in a televised speech in the Oval Office.
He called the need for the border a security and humanitarian crisis.
Mr Trump had previously said he had the ability to declare a national emergency, but Mrs Pelosi said he did not do so.
“He didn’t talk about that,” she said.
“Our meeting did not last long.”
The government shutdown will continue, after government operations stopped on December 22.