President Donald Trump claimed China, a geopolitical rival with whom he has been locked in a months-long trade dispute, is "more honorable" than Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
"I find China, frankly, in many ways, to be far more honorable than Chuck and Nancy," Trump told reporters from the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday.
"I think China actually is much easier to deal with than the opposition party," he added.
On Wednesday, Trump walked out of discussions to end a partial government shutdown, now in its third week, calling the talks with congressional Democrats "a total waste of time."
"Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time. I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!" Trump tweeted Wednesday.
Top congressional Democrats blasted Trump after the Wednesday afternoon meeting, accusing him of indifference to struggling federal workers and not trying to negotiate as the government shutdown drags on.
"Unfortunately, the President just got up and walked out," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York. "He asked Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi, 'Will you agree to my wall?' She said no. And he just got up and said, 'Then we have nothing to discuss,' and he just walked out. Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn't get his way, and he just walked out of the meeting."
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