By lunchtime, it was clear Tuesday was actually going to be a day of bipartisan blaming. Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning that he doesn't "see a deal" happening with "Chuck and Nancy" due to their stances on immigration and taxes.
How this exacerbates the potential for shutdown: The tweet seemed entirely directed at Trump's base.
In an earlier statement, the two Democratic leaders said that instead of meeting the president, they meant to negotiate directly with their Republican counterparts in an attempt to avert a government shutdown next month.
Democrats said that was beyond the pale, and they backed their leaders' decision to ditch the president.
The spectacle was an unpromising start to the hard negotiations ahead, with a deadline of December 8, when government funding runs out.
Top Democrats have canceled a meeting with President Trump after he knocked party leaders.
How this increases the risk for a shutdown: It officially cuts Democrats out of the negotiating process.
But Democrats' support for any modifications to the legislation would be conditioned on legislative protections for immigrants known as "Dreamers"(those who were brought to the United States illegally when still children and who have stayed since) while some conservative Republicans have objections. "I never refused to go to a meeting that president [Barack] Obama called", he told reporters as he left for the White House. "These issues are too important".
An undeterred Mr. Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday evening to excoriate the Democrats again by accusing them of jeopardizing national security with shutdown threats.
The president, flanked by two empty chairs for no-shows Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, said he was "not really that surprised" they didn't come, even if the seating chart suggested otherwise.
Top Democrats Interested In Bipartisan Meeting Without Trump
"I think we should avoid a shutdown at all cost", said Senator Richard C. Shelby, Republican of Alabama and a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
When reporters asked whether Trump's initial tweet was the trigger for all this, Sen.
"I hope they are wise enough to learn from our mistakes", he said.
Since coming to office, Mr Trump has ratcheted up the diplomatic and economic pressure on the regime of Kim Jong-Un.
Next, it was Senate Democratic leadership's turn to get in front of the cameras and spin their side.
"We're not going to sit down just for a photo op", Schumer said.
"If the president, who already said earlier this year that 'our country needs a good shutdown, ' isn't interested in addressing the hard year end agenda, we'll work with those Republicans who are, as we did in April", the top Democrats said.
To be specific, both of them recently started down a path of playing hard ball with President Trump over their demands for including an extension of the so-called "Dream Act" or "DACA" in the government funding bill. "There is a meeting at the White House this afternoon, and if Democrats want to reach an agreement, they will be there".
As Schumer pointed out, any shutdown would happen while Republicans control all of Washington.
Pelosi responded to Trump's comments on Twitter, saying that his "verbal abuse will no longer be tolerated". "If it happens, it will be over illegals pouring into the country, crime pouring into the country, no border wall, which everyone wants". Trump wants a big, lovely border wall. You look at the military, we want strong funding for the military; they don't.