Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Culture | By Glenn Strickland

All Major Networks to Air President Trump’s Address to the Nation

All Major Networks to Air President Trump’s Address to the Nation

So far, there appears to be no way out of the crisis, with the Democrats, who control the lower house of Congress, insisting a wall would be both ineffective and unethical.

In a televised rebuttal, Democratic leaders accused the president of holding the American people hostage.

In an eight-minute address on Tuesday night carried live by all the major United States television networks, Mr Trump said the federal government remained shut because of the Democrats.

US President Donald Trump has talked of a growing humanitarian crisis at the southern border and has called on Congress to fund the wall.

"At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall".

In 2006, senators Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden voted in favour of 700 miles (1,120km) of fencing on the almost 2,000-mile border under the Secure Fence Act.

Sources familiar with drafts of Trump's speech say he is unlikely to follow through on recent threats to declare a national emergency that would allow him to build the wall without Congressional approval.

Once Trump finished his speech, CNN and other outlets quickly went to fact checkers to dispute some of the president's claims.

"Some have suggested a barrier is immoral", Mr. Trump said.

Although the address wasn't too dissimilar from his previous arguments in favor of a border wall, it came at a critical time for Congress and the nation as a whole.

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"If his past statements are an indication, (the speech) will be full of malice and misinformation", House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the senior Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, said in a statement. "Division, not unity", the NY senator said.

He concluded: "The symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall".

Democrats have said they support increased border security measures such as additional US border agents and technology, but have rejected the administration's claims about the security risks at the border and have raised concerns that Trump will use his speech to present a false narrative.

Migrants break through the US border fence just beyond the east pedestrian entrance of the San Ysidro crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, on November 25, 2018.

"Speculation that Trump would use the address to declare a national emergency gathered steam after he approvingly cited a Democratic lawmaker Adam Smith, the new Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, who agreed there is a provision in law that says a president can declare an emergency", without adding the Congressman's reservation: "Declaring an emergency on our border.to take $20-30B out of the Dept. of Defense to build a wall is probably the worst public policy idea I've heard in about 10 years".

Research also indicates that undocumented immigrants are much less likely to commit crime than native-born American citizens.

Betting site bookmaker.eu was offering odds for wagers on whether Trump would lie during his speech, declare a national emergency or end the shutdown by January 18.

The government shutdown entered day 17 on 8 January after a series of discussions between the Trump administration officials and Democrats failed to yield an agreement on funding for the wall. But even if blocked, Trump could claim to his base that he had done what he could, while ending the damaging government shutdown.

Some correspondents have speculated that he may ultimately resort to such a declaration as a last-ditch tactic to allow him to reopen the government without losing face to Democrats.

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