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

Carla Harmon
January 9, 2019

After the networks agreed to air Trump's address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement demanding the chance to respond to the president, whose speech they claimed "will be full of malice and misinformation".

In the past, Trump's talks to the nation have been carefully scrutinized for false information. Ahead of Tuesday night's speech, Trump aides went so far as to claim that 4000 suspected terrorists had been apprehended at the Southern border, forcing even he pro-administration Fox News to fact-check and say most were apprehended at airports.

The confirmation came after some networks were reportedly considering not airing the speech live. "Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern", Trump wrote on Twitter on Monday. Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants streamed across the border in 2018, a situation the president and some experts have deemed a crisis.

Trump also plans a personal visit to the Mexican border on Thursday as he tries to put pressure on newly empowered Democrats in the shutdown standoff.

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. The goal of the address will be to promote his planned border wall between the United States and Mexico, characterize the issue of border security as a national security crisis and convince enough Americans to change their views on the subject that Trump can end the government shutdown by receiving border wall funding.

Democrats, who ended the Trump presidency's dominance of domestic politics when they seized the House of Representatives from his Republicans in November, cried foul before a word was spoken.

During the campaigning he pledged Mexico would pay for the wall, but since taking office he has been unable to achieve this, and is now attempting to use U.S. taxpayer funds to the tune of US$5.7 billion (NZ$8.5b).

However, in his address, Trump appeared to be willing instead to continue seeking a solution to the impasse with Congress.

The president's prime-time address has been controversial because of Trump's propensity for lying.

The president is insisting that $5bn (£4bn) be included for the border wall.

The Democratic leaders were due to give on-air rebuttals immediately after Mr Trump's speech. "But all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration".

Rehashing most of his recent comments regarding the need for border security, Mr Trump likened the steel barrier to residential fences.

Len Saunders, an immigration lawyer based near the border in Blaine, Wash., said those border guards - many of whom are supportive of the president's border-security efforts - may soon stop showing up for work as they begin to feel the shutdown's financial impact. "It's also what our professionals at the border want and need", he said. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) felt that Trump's willingness to compromise on the walls material could mean he was ready to negotiate.

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