WASHINGTON – As the partial government shutdown approaches a record length, President Donald Trump said Monday he will address the nation at 9 p.m. Tuesday on what he called the crisis at the nation’s border.
Trump also said he will visit the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday to promote his wall plan, officials said Monday.
Trump will “meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis” at the border, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders posted on Twitter. “More details will be announced soon.”
The Tuesday speech would give the president a chance to lay out his case on an issue that has led to the partial government shutdown.
Trump, who first floated the idea of traveling to the border during a surprise visit to Iraq the day after Christmas, has been pressing lawmakers for $5.6 billion for the border wall. The shutdown entered its 17th day on Monday.
The shutdown record is 21 days, set in 1995 and 1996. If it is still ongoing, the current partial shutdown would hit its 22nd day at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.
As the White House announced Trump’s visit to the border, no resolution seemed in sight.
After a series of discussions over the weekend involving Vice President Mike Pence and administration and congressional staff members, there’s no evidence of any other meetings Monday.
Trump traveled to San Diego in May to view prototypes of his proposed wall. Congress has approved additional money for border security in the past but has specifically prohibited any of it from being spent on new wall designs.
Democrats have said Trump and aides are exaggerating the numbers of migrants entering the country illegally to justify his stance on the wall.
“Trump shut down the government over a manufactured crisis at the border,” the Democratic National Committee said in a statement.
At least one Republican was already giving Trump advice about his prospective speech.
“When [you] give [your] tv speech Tuesday night deliver it as if [you] were conversing with Iowans not New Yorkers,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, posted on Twitter.
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