Then, he offered nothing new.
Standing behind a small podium, the pair fired back at Trump, saying his rhetoric has been "full of misinformation and even malice", just minutes after the president made his case to the nation for the need of a southern border wall.
Trump wrote. He called the meeting a "waste of time". "How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?" But she said there was "no way" the shutdown fight would drag on for years as Trump warned last week. In past shutdowns, civil servants were paid retroactively once the impasses ended.
Trump's remarks came 18 days into a partial government shutdown precipitated by his demand for the wall, which he has said is needed to keep out illegal immigrants and drugs.
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.
Hoping to demonstrate flexibility during his almost 10-minute speech from the White House Oval Office, Trump said of the border barrier he wants built: "At the request of the Democrats it will be a steel barrier and not a concrete wall". "I think most Americans understand that it's purely political".
Fox News dominated MSNBC and CNN during coverage of President Trump's Oval Office address and Democratic response on Tuesday night, according to early Nielsen data. That's up four points from a similar poll conducted on Dec 21 to 25.
As almost 800,000 federal workers still go without pay, the president remained at an impasse with congressional Democrats as he prepared to head to Capitol Hill to huddle with members of his own party behind closed doors on Wednesday.
For now, Trump sees this as winning politics.
Mr Schumer accused Mr Trump of trying to "govern by temper tantrum". But the move also gave his opponents a high-profile platform to make their counter-argument.
Smith also took issue with Trump's claim that it was law enforcement professionals who wanted the wall. There's little concern about that within the White House, where it's regarded as a problem mainly felt in Washington - despite the fact that thousands of federal workers live outside of the capital area. "We should be re-opening the government", Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire told VOA.
Mr Trump correctly pointed out that Democrats have in the past supported a physical barrier.
Democrats oppose the border wall, calling it ineffective, expensive and immoral. A political sciences professor with UBC says, probably not. They are particularly concerned about the administration's talk of possibly declaring a national emergency at the border, seeing that as an unprecedented claim on the right of Congress to allocate funding except in the most dire circumstances.