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Story highlights

Trump and Schumer met last week to negotiate before the government shutdown

Schumer said the two had cheeseburgers for lunch

(CNN) —  

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says he insisted top White House adviser Stephen Miller be kept out of a recent White House meeting with President Donald Trump as they tried to reach a deal on immigration to avoid a government shutdown.

“I said if you’re going to have Stephen Miller there or somebody like that, it’s not going to work,” Schumer said in an interview with The New York Times’ podcast “The Daily” that was published Friday.

“And (Trump) agreed,” the New York Democrat said.

Miller is one of the administration’s most conservative voices when it comes to immigration. Miller’s role in immigration discussions has been criticized by other senators, including the No. 2 Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, who said last week that “any attempt to kill immigration reform probably has Miller’s fingerprints on it.”

Schumer said he and Trump spent an hour and a half “on the parameters of what could be a great deal for him and I think for the Dreamers,” referring to the undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children.

“I said, ‘We need to help (the Dreamers)’ and he said, ‘I agree.’ And he said, ‘But I need border security.’ We spent about 15, 20 minutes negotiating about the wall and at the end he made a suggestion. I said, ‘We’ll take it,’” Schumer recalled.

Schumer reiterated that he did offer funding for the wall Trump wants on the US-Mexico border in exchange for “full protection” for 1.5 million undocumented immigrants.

The negotiations between the President and the Democrats’ top leader in the Senate were ultimately unsuccessful in trying to strike a bargain and prevent the shutdown that lasted over the weekend.

Schumer also shared what the two had for lunch: cheeseburgers.

“I am trying to lose a little weight. So I have for lunch usually a cheeseburger with no bun. And he served it. I guess they must have asked somebody,” Schumer said.

Schumer continued, “And (Trump) had a cheeseburger with a bun and a whole lot of French fries. I said, ‘You’re not really paying a lot of attention to your diet.’ He said ‘no.’”