Trump Holds Tax Reform Meeting With Empty Chairs For Schumer, Pelosi: "Not Really That Surprised"

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President Trump held a meeting on tax reform with members of Congressional leadership sans Democrats who pulled out earlier in the day.

"With that being said, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi did not show up for our meeting today," Trump said. "I'm not really that surprised. We have a lot of differences. They're weak on crime, they're weak on illegal immigration. They want the illegal folks to come pouring into our border and a lot of problems are being caused, although we've stopped it to a large extent as much as you can without the law, which we're going to get."

Transcript, via White House:





PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. As you probably have heard, and some of you have reported, a missile was launched a little while ago from North Korea.

I will only tell you that we will take care of it. We have General Mattis in the room with us, and we've had a long discussion on it. It is a situation that we will handle.

With that being said, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi did not show up for our meeting today. I'm not really that surprised. We have a lot of differences. They're weak on crime, they're weak on illegal immigration. They want the illegal folks to come pouring into our border and a lot of problems are being caused, although we've stopped it to a large extent as much as you can without the law, which we're going to get.

Before this meeting and before this missile launch, they've been weak on military. In terms of spending, they're very hard to get the military -- they want it for a lot of other things, but the military is always secondary to them. The military, to me, is number one. We won't be here without our powerful military, and we're building it up stronger, bigger, better than ever before. And General Mattis can testify to that.

And the other thing: They want tax increases, and we want major tax decreases. So they decided not to show up. They've been all talk and they've been no action, and now it's even worse. Now it's not even talk. So they're not showing up to the meeting.

I will say this: In light of the missile launch, probably they'll be here fairly quickly, or at least discussions will start taking place fairly quickly.

I think we're in a very good position in terms of the meeting we just had over at the Capitol with the Republican senators. It was outstanding. I think we have tremendous support. I was just informed by Mitch that we had a unanimous vote -- from the Republican side at least -- we had a unanimous vote on the tax bill. And it goes now the next step, and I think we're going to get it passed. I think it's going to pass. And it's going to be very popular.

It's going to have lots of adjustments before it ends, but the end result will be a very, very massive -- the largest in the history of our country -- tax cut. And lots of good things are going to happen, including the bringing back to our country of -- probably will end up being over $4 trillion -- money offshore that's stagnant that companies -- they're just not able to bring it back. So I think it's going to be a number over $4 trillion.

Corporate will be able to compete now against the world. If you look at China, if you look at so many other countries, if you look at many of the countries, China is at 15 percent. They're lower than us. We're getting it down to a level that is either going to be lower or right in the ballpark so we can compete much better with our companies -- our great, great companies. And that means jobs and it means lots of other things.

I'm very happy to see that the consumer confidence level is just about the highest it's ever been. If fact -- I don't want to make any mistakes in front of the press because you'll get me on it -- but to the best of my knowledge, it's the highest it's ever been. Consumer confidence has been setting records. They have confidence in the people leading their country.

And, I will say, that I think it's going to go better and better, and I do believe this vote on taxes, which are really tax cuts and reform, is going to be very, very important.

So we had a good day today. We had a phenomenal meeting with the Republican senators. We had -- it was very special that meeting. And, in many respects, I wish you could have been inside that room. It was very, very special -- the comradery. It was somewhat of a lovefest. They want to see it happen. They want to see it happen not only for the Republican Party. I think, much more importantly, they want to see it happen for the country because they know how important it is for us to compete and win.

And, with that, I maybe will start with Paul Ryan to say a few words about where we stand with different things and then I'll ask Mitch McConnell.

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