Entertainment

Donald Trump’s speech on U.S.-Mexico border wall funding

Share
President Trump speaks to reporters after meeting with members of Congress at the White House in Washington

U.S. president Donald Trump's recent claim that his predecessors endorsed his idea of a wall at the Mexican border got no support from the ex- presidents' club.

"Now that the television networks have made a decision to air the President's address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime", Democrat leaders Senator Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement last night, even as various liberal quarters demanded that Trump's speech should be subjected to a delayed telecast to enable instant fact-checking given his propensity for lies and dissembling.

Spokespersons for CNN, NBC, CBS, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and the Fox network of television affiliates confirmed Monday that they have committed to the politically fraught gesture, only the second of its kind for a modern-era presidential speech other than an address to a joint session of Congress. It's unclear where the shutdown stalemate ends. Initially, Trump insisted Mexico would pay for the boarder wall.

CBS said in a statement that the White House told the network that the speech will last no longer than eight minutes.

On Monday the majority of the living USA presidents disputed Mr Trump's claim that some of them have privately told him they regret not building a border wall during their administrations.

In recent days, Trump, who has long railed against illegal immigration at the border, has also seized on humanitarian concerns to argue there is a broader crisis that can only be solved with a wall.

During the talks, Trump reaffirmed his plans to build a wall on the southern border with Mexico and listened to Democrats' funding requests related to USA national security, Pence said. There were almost 400,000 apprehensions at the border in the 2018 fiscal year, well down from the early 2000s when arrests regularly topped one million annually.

Mr Trump tweeted today that the group discussed details of "border security" and had a "productive meeting".

The White House has not said why the situation constitutes a national emergency.

It will be Trump's first live address to the nation. However, Democrats have called it a humanitarian crisis, while the Trump administration has framed it as an issue of national security, according to the New York Times.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the House Democratic leadership had not yet worked out a strategy for how to respond if Trump declared a national emergency in to circumvent Congress and build the wall.

Leaning on Senate Republicans, some of whom are growing anxious about the impact of the shutdown, Pelosi said the House would begin passing individual bills this week to reopen shuttered federal agencies, starting with the Treasury Department to ensure Americans receive their tax refunds.

A National Park Service ranger looks out onto the city from Trump International Hotel's historic clock tower, which remains open and staffed by the National Park Service despite the partial government shutdown.

More should be revealed about Trump's eventual endgame for the shutdown tomorrow. About 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed or are working without pay, and many will miss paychecks for the first time on Friday.

Share