President Trump will give a prime-time address from the Oval Office on Tuesday evening, two days before he will travel to the U.S.-Mexico border
Trump confirmed the speech in a Twitter post.
I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border. Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2019
It’s unclear if all of the networks will carry Trump’s speech. Four major broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC — has confirmed to receiving the White House request earlier for the primetime speech during the 9 p.m. ET standard time slot. According to the New York Times that broke the news of the possible prime-time speech, pre-empting prime-time coverage is an expensive proposition for television executives, who have sold millions of dollars’ worth of advertising against entertainment programming. The remarks will covered by cable news networks, but they have a much smaller audience.
The presidential speech and visit come amid the continuing partial government shutdown and Trump’s insistence that any funding bill to reopen federal agencies include $5.7 billion for his border wall. Trump and congressional Democrats remain at a standoff on crafting a deal to reopen the government, which is in its 17th day of a partial shutdown.
With Democrats controlling the House, they have rejected to pass any measure that includes funding for a border wall. Nancy Pelosi, the new speaker of the House has proclaimed that Trump is “not going to get a wall,” stating she is considering individual funding bills to reopen the government. One bill would be to fund the Treasury Department so that employees for the Internal Revenue Service could return to work as tax filing season begins.
Trump has refused to sign any legislation that doesn’t meet his demands for a $5 billion funding for a border wall. Just last week, the president has raised the possibility of declaring a national emergency to build the wall without congressional approval, a move that would be considered legally and politically questionable.
Over the weekend, Vice President Mike Pence along with top administration officials met with congressional Democrats, with both meetings resulting in no breakthrough. The President has invited Democratic leaders back to the White House for further talks, Pence said.
“We hope they take us up on it,” the Vice President said.
The shutdown is the second longest in the nation’s history and affects about 800,000 federal workers, many of whom will not get paid for the first time this week.
Earlier Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a tweet that Trump will “meet with those on the frontlines”of what the administration is calling “the national security and humanitarian crisis” at the southwest border.
President @realDonaldTrump will travel to the Southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis. More details will be announced soon.— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 7, 2019
Trump made his first visit to the border as president 10 months ago. During that trip, Trump toured 30-foot-tall steel and concrete prototypes of the border wall in California and strongly condemned jurisdictions that offer “sanctuary” to undocumented immigrants.
This will be the first time Trump has conducted a primetime address from the Oval Office. The prime-time address also come three weeks ahead of Trump’s State of the Union address that is scheduled for Jan. 29.