President Trump is taking his plea for a wall at the border with Mexico to the people in a televised prime-time speech on Tuesday, followed by a visit to the border on Thursday.
It’ll come as Democrats want to end the 18-day government shutdown, but are unwilling to pony up the $5.7 billion Trump wants to build his wall.
The news that Trump will be given a nationwide platform on TV to talk about the wall didn’t sit well with Democrats. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer said, “Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime.” They added that “if his past statements are any indication,” Trump’s speech “will be full of malice and misinformation.”
That possibility also raised the concern of journalists, but veteran ABC anchor Ted Koppel supported giving Trump “the benefit of the doubt.” He added, “When the president of the United States asks for airtime, you’ve got to do it. If what he has to say is clearly just in his self-interest and does not address the greater national interest, then the next time the White House comes around, I might not be inclined to offer it.” (The New York Times)
- Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has said that a speech by Trump would help him reframe the narrative about the shutdown.
- It seems only recently that the Trump administration has started to refer to the problems at the border as a “humanitarian crisis.”
- I’m kind of surprised that Trump doesn’t make his nationally televised speech from the border for maximum dramatic effect.