Trump to deliver prime-time address on security ‘crisis’ amid government shutdown
U.S. President Donald Trump will appear in a televised address to the nation Tuesday night, amid a partial government shutdown over funding for a wall along the border with Mexico.
“I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Crisis on our Southern Border,” Trump tweeted Monday.
The address will be broadcast live at 9 p.m ET.
Trump has refused to back any funding bill to re-open the government unless it includes US$5.6 billion to build a border wall. The showdown has mired the government in a partial shutdown for over two weeks.
The Republican president has showed no sign of backing off his pledge to build a wall, which he says is necessary to stem illegal immigration. Democrats in Congress disagree, with new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling the idea of a wall “immoral.”
The White House announced earlier in the day that Trump will visit the border on Thursday, although it did not specify which area he will visit.
The president has argued that a wall is necessary to protect the country from terrorism and illegal immigration, without providing any evidence. He has also blamed Democrats for the deaths of two migrant children at the border, both of whom were in U.S. custody at the time.
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Democrats say the wall is a waste of money, and that a more modern, technology-focused solution is necessary to curb illegal immigration.
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Trump has started describing the wall as a steel barrier, rather than as a concrete wall.
White House officials sent a letter to Capitol Hill on Sunday asking for money to build a steel barrier “on the Southwest border.” The letter included a request for $800 million to address “urgent humanitarian needs” at the border.
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The White House says the letter was meant to address Democrats’ questions about how the money will be spent. However, Democrats say the letter fell short of clearing up all of their concerns.
—With files from Reuters and The Associated Press
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