President Donald J. Trump blamed Democrats for the partial government shutdown that has now lasted more than two weeks in a presidential address Tuesday evening.
Networks interrupted their regularly scheduled programming to broadcast live Trump’s remarks from the Oval Office. He pleaded to the nation about the urgency of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to stem the tide of illegal immigration. The president also invoked rising violence and the opioid addiction as mitigating factors and stressed the situation as one being a “crisis of the soul”. However, at no point did he declare a national emergency or introduce plans to re-open the government. Instead, he blamed Democrats for not approving $5 Billion to fund his wall and increase security. He made the claim despite announcing in December that he would own the shutdown.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were given airtime to rebut the president’s remarks. They framed him as dishonest and not operating in good faith. Schumer said there was no reason to hold millions of people, some of whom will miss their first paycheck this Friday, hostage over a difference of politics. Pelosi said Trump needed to stop manufacturing a crisis.
Immediately after the presidential speech, the fact checking of Trump’s assertions began.