Trump says he's calling off pandemic relief talks until after election

President Donald Trump, in a surprise move Tuesday, announced that he was calling off talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on passing a new stimulus package until after the November election.

“Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19. We made a very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith. I am rejecting their……request, and looking to the future of our Country,” Trump tweeted.

“I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business. I have asked…… @senatemajldrMitch McConnell not to delay, but to instead focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett. Our Economy is doing very well. The Stock Market is at record levels, JOBS and unemployment…..also coming back in record numbers. We are leading the World in Economic Recovery, and THE BEST IS YET TO COME!” he said.

Financial markets dropped sharply on the news.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump gives thumbs up on the Blue Room Balcony upon returning to the White House, Oct. 5, 2020, after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md., following treatment for COVID-19. (Alex Brandon/AP)

Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were negotiating in recent days and indicated several times that they were close to reaching a deal. They met at her office at the Capitol for 90 minutes last week, followed by a series of phone calls later in the week. Pelosi and Mnuchin traded paper on Monday but key differences still remained on liability insurance and funding for local and state governments, per a source familiar with the talks.

Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke again by phone Tuesday afternoon just after the president called off negotiations. Mnuchin, according to Pelosi’s office, confirmed that talks were off.

“The Secretary confirmed that the President has walked away from COVID talks. The Speaker expressed her disappointment in the President’s decision to abandon the economic & health needs of the American people,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a tweet.

PHOTO: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 18, 2020. (Alexander Drago/Reuters)

In a statement, Pelosi blasted the White House as being in “complete disarray.”

“Today, once again, President Trump showed his true colors: putting himself first at the expense of the country, with the full complicity of the GOP Members of Congress. Walking away from coronavirus talks demonstrates that President Trump is unwilling to crush the virus, as is required by the Heroes Act. He shows his contempt for science, his disdain for our heroes – in health care, first responders, sanitation, transportation, food workers, teachers, teachers, teachers and others – and he refuses to put money in workers’ pockets, unless his name is printed on the check,” Pelosi said.

“Clearly, the White House is in complete disarray. Sadly, they are rejecting the urgent warnings of Fed Chairman Powell today, that ‘Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses. Over time, household insolvencies and business bankruptcies would rise, harming the productive capacity of the economy and holding back wage growth. By contrast, the risks of overdoing it seem, for now, to be smaller. Even if policy actions ultimately prove to be greater than needed, they will not go to waste,” she said.

House Democrats were on a private caucus call Tuesday afternoon as the news broke that negotiations were called off by the president. Some Democrats were stunned at the news, given that the lead negotiators appeared to be on the brink of a deal, according to sources on the call.

Pelosi, on the private call, even questioned the president’s mental capacity given his recent usage of steroids as he battles coronavirus, sources familiar with the call told ABC News.

“Believe me, there are people who thought, who think that steroids have an impact on your thinking. So, I don’t know. I do practice medicine on the side without benefit of diploma, as a mother and a grandmother, but I hadn’t gone into mental health yet. I haven’t had to do that,” Pelosi said, according to an official on the call.

Trump’s announcement came just hours after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in a speech that more stimulus was needed to help boost the economy.

“Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses,” Powell said in a speech at a virtual annual meeting held by the National Association for Business Economics. “Over time, household insolvencies and business bankruptcies would rise, harming the productive capacity of the economy, and holding back wage growth.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday at the Capitol that he supports Trump’s decision to end negotiations.

“I think his view was that they were not going to produce a result and we needed to concentrate on what’s achievable,” McConnell said.

Asked if he supported Trump’s decision, McConnell said: “I did.”

ABC News’ Katherine Faulders and Allison Pecorin contributed to this report.

Trump says he’s calling off pandemic relief talks until after election originally appeared on abcnews.go.com