President Donald Trump announced on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, on Twitter that he will address the American people from the Oval Office on Tuesday. The purpose will be to discuss the crisis happening at the southern border.
A White House spokesperson stated Trump would travel to the border this week in an effort to demonstrate the necessity of the border wall.
The four major networks: NBC, FOX, CBS, and ABC verified that they received the request on Monday to carry the Trump’s address at 9 p.m. ET. CNN is the only major network that agreed to cut into their regularly scheduled program, the others have not made any commitment to do so.
Trump’s address could be aired on cable news stations. However, their audiences are smaller than that of major networks.
It is rare for the White House to ask the traditional television networks to preempt their prime-time television schedule. Generally, that only happens when there is an incident of national importance such as the death of Osama bin Laden. During such times networks have no problems granting the request.
Mick Mulvany, the acting White House chief of staff, has been telling White House officials that Trump would need to address the nation to change the narrative about the governmental shutdown.
The announcement to address the American people comes after Trump stated he is considering using emergency powers to get his border wall funded. Trump does have the power to proclaim a national emergency and shut down the Mexican/American border.
Vice President Mike Pence told reporters, off camera, that Trump has not decided if he will proclaim a national emergency. Pence also added that the White House is examining the legality of this issue.
Trump’s justification for the wall is the illegal immigrant situation at the southern border is a national security and a humanitarian crisis. However, multiple immigration groups and the Democrats state that this is false.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced on Twitter Monday that Trump plans to travel to the border on Thursday, January 10. If an agreement has not been reached between the Trump and Congress at that time, it will be the 20th day of the partial government shutdown.
The partial shutdown affects 800,000 federal workers. This week is the first week that they will not be paid since the government closed federal offices.
Little progress has been made between Democrats and the White House to end the shutdown. Trump has said that no legislation will be signed to fund agencies unless it gets funding for his wall on the southern border.
Democrats now hold the majority. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has stated Trump will not get a border wall.
Pelosi said the House will contemplate singular funding bills in order to reopen the government. A priority would be to supply funds to the Treasury Department so that those who work for the Internal Revenue Service can return to work before the tax season begins.
Written By Barbara Sobel
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
The New York Times: Trump Wants to Deliver Prime-Time Address on Government Shutdown and Will Visit the Border
CNBC: Trump will address the nation before visiting the southern border as lawmakers continue to grapple over wall funding amid shutdown
The Wall Street Journal: Trump to Appeal to Public in Push for Wall
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flick Page – Creative Commons License