Trump pleads on TV for wall money; Dems say he ‘stokes fear'

Trump pleads on TV for wall money; Dems say he ‘stokes fear'

That news prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to demand equal air time to respond - something that is only done during State of the Union addresses from presidents.

At this point, Twitter's collective mockery of the bizarrely staged Chuck Schumer-Nancy Pelosi response to President Trump's Oval Office address is so savage it borders on cruelty.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida left the meeting and said Trump could still declare a national emergency in an attempt to redirect government funding toward border barrier construction. "What we hear from Republican members and, frankly, quietly from many Democrat members is that when they see the scope of this crisis, when they see the facts presented to them, that they understand why the president is so adamant about doing something meaningful to advance border security". Schumer said Trump slammed his hand on a table in frustration, but Vice President Mike Pence and other Republicans, speaking to reporters afterward, denied that happened.

Trump began the much-anticipated speech by urging Congress to sanction billions of dollars for the wall, which was "absolutely critical" for the safety of the nation. But he made no mention of such a declaration Tuesday night.

Dick Durbin speak to the media after meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump about ending the partial government shutdown, on January 4, 2019 in Washington, DC.

"A crisis of the heart, and a crisis of the soul", Trump said in the prime time address from the Oval Office.

Trump plans a visit to the border Thursday as he continues to argue for the wall that was a signature promise of his 2016 presidential campaign.

Schumer said the shutdown "ought to end now" and warned that federal workers could miss a paycheck without a speedy resolution to the impasse.

Complete ratings for Trump's speech and response will be available later in the day.

Trump used emotional language, referring to Americans who were killed by people in the country illegally, saying: "I've met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration".

Trump was almost halfway through his 9-minute address before he mentioned the wall, describing it as a request from law enforcement rather than his longstanding political pledge. "At the request of Democrats it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall". What the hell have they done about the border?

"So this trade deal, in effect, does help pay for our border security", Schlapp said. And Senate Democrats have approved similar funding year after year.

Kevin McCarthy, Republican leader in the House of Representatives, said he found the Democrats' behaviour "embarrassing". The administration says it will act on its own to ensure the refunds.

AP writers Colleen Long, Alan Fram and Deb Riechmann contributed.

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