When the White House officially requested airtime on Monday from the broadcast networks, as is customary in these cases, network executives deliberated about it for a few hours.
Trump, though, is expecting his new persona of a self-possessed politician turning attention to the drug problem and minorities' loss of jobs due illegal immigration would sway voters to call their legislators to support the wall.
"And he just got up and said, 'Then we have nothing to discuss, ' and he just walked out". "Separate the shutdown from the arguments over border security", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, appearing in a joint response with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"They don't build walls because they hate the people on the outside", Trump said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also painted the president as intransigent.
As the shutdown enters its 19th day, 800,000 federal workers are increasingly likely to miss their first pay cheques, due at the end of the week.
"And we have a President who is completely ill-equipped to handle this crisis because he has neither", Corden said. "They're not mad. They're just disappointed". "But they can't. They can't".
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned the need for the main federal immigration enforcement agency, ICE, at all.
Moreover, the majority of Americans themselves aren't buying Trump's claim that the Democrats shoulder the blame for the current shutdown.
"I asked him to open up the government", Schumer said. Farmers and small businesses won't get loans they need. We want to come to an agreement.
Sen. Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, later told reporters that Trump said "I don't know why I'm doing this". I appreciate the opportunity to speak directly to the American people tonight about how we can end this shutdown and meet the needs of the American people.
Noting that his administration was doing everything in its power to help those impacted by the situation, Trump said the only solution was for Democrats to pass a spending bill that defends the borders and reopens the government.
"I think we ought to solve this shutdown". They say the shutdown continues only because Trump refuses to drop his demand for $5.7 billion in wall funding.
Shortly after the White House meeting broke up, the Democratic-majority House of Representatives voted to pass legislation to end a partial shutdown of the Treasury Department and some other agencies that have been closed since December 22, without money for the wall. "He even brought a little candy for everybody", McCarthy said. Not once have the Democrats offered anything back.
"The President is rejecting these bipartisan Bills, which would reopen government, over his obsession with forcing American taxpayers to waste billions of dollars on an expensive and ineffective wall, a wall he always promised Mexico would pay for", Ms Pelosi said.
-Dylan Stableford contributed to this article.