WASHINGTON—President Trump said he wouldn’t work with Democrats while investigations of him continue and abruptly ended a meeting with the party’s leaders Wednesday, casting fresh doubt on a divided Washington’s ability to complete big-ticket legislation in the next 18 months.
The morning began with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) accusing the Republican president of engaging in a “coverup” as she fended off a rising chorus of Democrats calling for Mr. Trump’s impeachment. Soon after, Mr. Trump stormed out of a planned meeting on infrastructure at the White House with Mrs. Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) after telling them that the talks were off.
At a hastily called news conference moments later in the Rose Garden, Mr. Trump said he wouldn’t work with Congress “under these circumstances.”
Speaking behind a podium bearing a sign that read “No collusion, no obstruction” and featured statistics about the cost and duration of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, Mr. Trump said he told Democratic leaders: “I want to do infrastructure. I want to do it more than you want to do it. But you know what, you can’t do it under these circumstances.”
The odds of passing a $2 trillion infrastructure plan were already remote, given that neither party has a clear plan to pay for it and congressional Republicans are wary of a package that ambitious. But the president’s declaration about not working with Democrats—which Mr. Schumer said after the meeting “would make your jaw drop”—raises new questions about how he would pass any of his legislative agenda in the remaining year and a half of his current term.