Late Night Hosts Mock Donald Trump’s National Address

Danny Woods
January 9, 2019

As many as half a dozen GOP senators have said the government should reopen while border security negotiations with Democrats continue.

The current closure of a quarter of federal agencies is the second-longest in history, leaving hundreds of thousands of government workers unpaid. "The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year, vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress".

Alan Jacobs says when it comes to Donald Trump people for and against his Presidency probably already had their minds up before he made his address.

In an eight-minute address on Tuesday night carried live by all the major U.S. television networks, Mr Trump said the federal government remained shut because of the Democrats.

He went on to mention more crimes committed by illegal immigrants as he tried to drive home his point. The White House feels no political pressure from Mr Trump's base supporters, who see immigration as a top issue and a wall as a permanent solution to the problem, White House aides say.

Over on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!", the host seemed surprised that Trump was using the Oval Office for something other than "Kardashian meet-and-greets".

But the networks also carried Democrats' response, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded equal time, predicting that Trump's speech would be "full of malice and misinformation".

Pelosi and Schumer also emphasized an obvious fact: On the first day that the 116th Congress was in session, House Democrats, who now hold the majority, passed government spending legislation that was almost identical to what Senate Republicans passed at the tail-end of the 115th Congress. On Thursday he travels to the border. But in the most recent test, it did not work.

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The President's address was the latest in a series of public appearances - including a Cabinet meeting, a statement in the White House briefing room at which he was flanked by border patrol officers, and a news conference last week - in which Mr Trump simply reiterated his demands without offering any concessions.

Earlier on Sunday, Trump had offered to erect a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall along the border to iron out differences with Democrats over the issue which has resulted in a partial government shutdown for over a fortnight.

The number of illegal border crossings is down from 1.6 million in 2000 to fewer than 400,000 previous year.

He also has failed to persuade most Americans that he's right. He ordered U.S. troops to take up stations on the border.

A growing proportion of Americans blame Mr Trump for the government shutdown, although Republicans mostly support his refusal to approve a budget that does not include funds for the wall, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.

Mr. Trump, however, stopped short of declaring a state of emergency that would give him the power to divert money from the military to build the wall. But he took little action to get it built during his first two years in office.

Democrats have rejected the idea as an illegal overreach of presidential authority but Republican lawmakers - who repeatedly challenged former president Barack Obama's attempts to exert executive authority - have been relatively quiet.

Some correspondents have speculated that he may ultimately resort to such a declaration as a last-ditch tactic to allow him to reopen the government without losing face to Democrats.

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