UNITED STATES- Negotiations over a bipartisan infrastructure package meant to overhaul the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges and waterways collapsed suddenly on Wednesday after President Donald Trump walked out of a previously scheduled meeting with top congressional Democrats at the White House.
Democrats waited about 15 minutes for Trump. Once he arrived, he spoke for about three minutes before leaving the room. In a press conference at the White House Rose Garden just afterwards, Trump said he would not deal with Democrats on infrastructure matters until they ceased investigations of his administration following special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
The president then accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), one of the participants in the meeting, of being inconsiderate for saying earlier Wednesday that Trump “is engaged in a cover-up.”
In the press conference, Trump stood behind a sign reading “no collusion, no obstruction” and argued he’s “the most transparent president in history.”
“This meeting was set up a number of days ago … all of a sudden I hear last night they’re going to have a meeting right before this meeting to talk about the I-word,” Trump said, referring “impeachment,” not “infrastructure.”
Pelosi did call a meeting Wednesday morning to brief her caucus on the various efforts to oversee Trump’s administration. House Democrats have reportedly pushed the speaker to begin impeachment proceedings, with more and more speaking out publicly about the need to hold Trump accountable.
That apparently upset Trump, who refused to discuss infrastructure with Democratic leaders just before his press conference.