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Nancy Pelosi defends Trump’s shutdown shutdown tactics

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended President Trump’s handling of the government shutdown on Wednesday, telling a frustrated president: “You’ve come into my wheelhouse.”

On Tuesday, the Times reported that Speaker Pelosi would not try to reopen the government until Mr. Trump agreed to reopen government agencies, not just the Department of Homeland Security.

In an exchange with reporters on Wednesday, Ms. Pelosi said: “I was the one to say I’m not going to do anything until the government is open, but I was told by the White House chief of staff. I said that I would try to bridge all our differences. I actually, they’re never out of our wheelhouse.”

But she also said that she was a bit surprised the White House released details of the president’s upcoming address to the nation, at a time when Mr. Trump seemed to be digging in his heels on his demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall along the border with Mexico.

“Look, we all got caught by surprise when the White House chief of staff said that the president was going to issue a national security waiver to allow him to give a big speech,” she said. “So you know there’s a little disbelief on our side about what exactly is on the table.”

Ms. Pelosi said she was also anxious about the “back and forth on immigration,” and again took to the floor to decry Mr. Trump’s plan to separate migrant children from their parents, arguing that his apparent intention was to encourage more families to come to the United States.

Ms. Pelosi did not challenge Mr. Trump’s administration’s practices on immigration — Ms. Pelosi has appeared alongside White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, among others, and she has been sympathetic to much of what the administration is doing on issues like the wall — but took aim at his attack on migrant children.

“We also must care for the children at the border, and they must not be used to pressure Congress,” she said. “So the president’s decision to once again use those minors — oftentimes children of asylum seekers — as political pawns is abhorrent, unAmerican, and dishonors both their rights and the rule of law.”

Ms. Pelosi also expressed concern about the “back and forth on immigration,” and again took to the floor to decry Mr. Trump’s plan to separate migrant children from their parents, arguing that his apparent intention was to encourage more families to come to the United States.

“We all got caught by surprise when the White House chief of staff said that the president was going to issue a national security waiver to allow him to give a big speech,” she said. “So you know there’s a little disbelief on our side about what exactly is on the table.”

Ms. Pelosi said she was also anxious about the “back and forth on immigration,” and again took to the floor to decry Mr. Trump’s plan to separate migrant children from their parents, arguing that his apparent intention was to encourage more families to come to the United States.

“We also must care for the children at the border, and they must not be used to pressure Congress,” she said. “So the president’s decision to once again use those minors — oftentimes children of asylum seekers — as political pawns is abhorrent, unAmerican, and dishonors both their rights and the rule of law.”

Ms. Pelosi did not challenge Mr. Trump’s administration’s practices on immigration — Ms. Pelosi has appeared alongside White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, among others, and she has been sympathetic to much of what the administration is doing on issues like the wall — but took aim at his attack on migrant children.

“We also must care for the children at the border, and they must not be used to pressure Congress,” she said. “So the president’s decision to once again use those minors — oftentimes children of asylum seekers — as political pawns is abhorrent, unAmerican, and dishonors both their rights and the rule of law.”