BORDER/CHUCK SCHUMER/GOVERNMENT/NANCY PELOSI/SPENDING/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WALL: “‘This has spiraled downward,’ Nancy Pelosi declared. That turned out to be an understatement. For 17 awkward and tense minutes in the Oval Office on Tuesday [12-11-18], President Donald Trump and his Democratic adversaries — Pelosi, the expected incoming House speaker, and Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader — clashed in spectacular fashion, with the cameras rolling and shocked reporters watching. White House aides who had given Trump concise talking points were equally blindsided. In the end, Trump handed Democrats what they consider a massive gift: a direct and unqualified admission — on live TV, no less — that he will be responsible for a government shutdown. Tuesday’s meeting was supposed to be closed to the press, and Trump was even handed talking points to follow that matched language GOP House leaders were using, according to a source briefed on the conversations. Trump’s top congressional liaison, Shahira Knight, met with Trump right before the meeting for a ‘legislative pre-brief,’ according to the president’s private schedule.”

Andrew Restuccia and Eliana Johnson, “The 17 gripping minutes that captivated Washington,” Politico, December 11, 2018 5:18 pm