President Donald Trump delivered a forceful and fact-challenged televised plea to the nation Tuesday night for his long-promised border wall, declaring “a growing humanitarian and security crisis” at the southern border and blaming congressional Democrats for the partial government shutdown that he helped instigate three weeks ago.
Trump painted a harrowing picture of danger and death along the U.S.-Mexico border, describing undocumented immigrants as murderers, rapists and drug smugglers and arguing that a steel barrier - for which he is demanding that Congress appropriate $5.7 billion - is the only solution.
“This is a humanitarian crisis - a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul,” Trump said in his nine-minute speech from the Oval Office. “Democrats in Congress have refused to acknowledge the crisis, and they have refused to provide our brave border agents with the tools they desperately need to protect our families and our nation.”
Democratic leaders, who have steadfastly resisted Trump’s demand for wall funding in part because they consider such a barrier to be immoral and unnecessary, accused Trump of fear-mongering in his Tuesday night address. They called on him to immediately end the government shutdown, which they said was disrupting the pay of 800,000 federal workers and depriving millions of American citizens of critical services.
“Sadly, much of what we have heard from President Trump throughout this senseless shutdown has been full of misinformation and even malice,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. She added, “The fact is, President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis and must reopen the government.”
BY Philip Rucker, Felicia Sonmez(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Jan 09, 2019