Donald Trump seeks an edge in shutdown fight with TV address

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

Donald Trump seeks an edge in shutdown fight with TV address

Trump's prime-time address, scheduled for 9 p.m. ET, will be the Republican president's latest attempt to persuade Democrats to back his barrier on the southern border.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded to the news about Trump's speech by demanding that Democratic Party leaders be given an equal amount of time to respond to what he says. (According to the Toronto Star, the USA president had made almost 4,000 false claims as of December 5 for an average of 5.8 per day.) Recently, the White House has been trying to justify funding a wall on the notion that there is a new crisis at the southern border, when in fact the number of people trying to cross the border has been in decline for nearly two decades.

Leaders of the nonpartisan National Governors Association made public a letter Tuesday sent to Trump and congressional leaders a day earlier, calling on them to reopen the government, saying "a federal government shutdown should not be a negotiating tactic as disagreements are resolved". "Do they want to run the promise of more lies, more misleading statistics, more twisting of reality, mindless confrontation, all for the sake of defending Trump's dark twisted fantasy and a wall on the Mexican border?"

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

The prototypes for Trump's border wall are seen behind the border fence between Mexico and the United States, in Tijuana, Mexico.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a tweet that Mr Trump would use his visit to the border on Thursday to "meet with those on the front lines of the national security and humanitarian crisis".

He said he could relate to the workers who would have trouble paying bills because of the shutdown but threatened, again, to declare a national emergency as an alternative way to build the wall.

The paper reported it was unlikely Trump would declare a national emergency, citing sources familiar with Trump's planned remarks - although the president has been known to stray from the words put down on paper by aides. 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. In 2019, they're all going to broadcast Trump's speech on immigration.

A spokesperson for George W Bush said that he never discussed the border wall with Mr Trump.

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. Pence said the White House counsel's office is looking at the idea.

More should be revealed about Trump's eventual endgame for the shutdown tomorrow.

"The president has no authority to usurp Congress's power of the purse", House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat from NY, said during a visit to the border on Monday. Some 800,000 federal employees have been temporarily laid off - or forced to work without pay. Two Guatemalan children have died in border custody, while images of border patrol officers firing tear gas at migrants have raised the ire of critics.

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