Donald Trump Oval Office speech LIVE: Democrats accuse POTUS of 'temper tantrum' politics

Trump news

Trump news: Trump is due to speak from the White House Oval Office for the first time today (Image: GETTY)

Trump was forced to enact the shutdown after he failed to secure funding for his controversial border wall. He wanted $ 5.6billion (£4.4billion) to fund the wall. But his Democratic foes have refused to yield, spearheaded by the formidable Nancy Pelosi, the new speaker in the Lower House, who branded the project “immoral”.

Trump’s address to the American people will begin at 9pm EST (2am GMT) and is set to be aired live on all major US television networks.

The channels include ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN, Fox Business, Fox News, MSNBC and PBS.

The speech, the first of 2019, will be delivered amid the government shutdown.

The shutdown has dominated US politics for several weeks – causing Trump to miss some of his planned Christmas holidays on his Mar-a-Lago resort with his wife, First Lady Melania and their 12-year-old son, Barron.

READ MORE: US House passes bill to END government shutdown

Ms Pelosi

Ms Pelosi – speaker of the Lower House of Representatives (Image: GETTY)

In US politics a government occurs when Congress fails to pass, or the President refuses to sign, legislation funding federal government operations and agencies.

The President is expected to use his address today to highlight the need to pass legislation that will address the security on the Southern Border.

The White House maintains that any government funding bill must address the “security and humanitarian crises on our Southern Border”.

Building a border wall was a major campaign promise by Trump.

Follow below for LIVE updates on the speech as we get them. (All times are in GMT.)

Trump

Trump has said the shutdown could continue for years (Image: GETTY)

2.23am update: A top Democrat in the House responds on Twitter 

Hakeen Jeffries said: “We are not paying a $ 5 billion ransom note for your medieval border wall. And nothing you just said will change that cold, hard reality. Not happening. Get. Over. It.”

2.19am update: The symbol of America should be the statue of Liberty and not a border wall – Chuck Schumer

Both Ms Pelosi and Mr Schumer have said the President has attempted to use to backdrop of the White House Oval Office as a means to create a false crisis.

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Mr Schumer ends by trying to blame the shutdown on Trump, a reverse of the argument offered by the president.

“So our suggestion is a simple one: Mr President: re-open the government and we can work to resolve our differences over border security. But end this shutdown now,” said the top Senate Democrat.

2.16am update: Schumer has his word 

Mr Schumer says American democracy doesn’t work like this: “We do not govern by temper tantrum.” 

Both us and the administration want stronger border security, he says. 

But how do we untangle the mess? Mr Schumer says the government shutdown must end. 

2.14am update: Democrats react 

Speaker of the Lower House Nancy Pelosi is saying the President is trying to “hold Americans to hostage”.

She said his address was full of misinformation.

She claims the women and children at the border are not a national security threat. 

2.10am update: Trump urges Americans to imagine if your family’s life was affected by the “crisis” 

I will always protect our country, so help me god. 

The Presiden took a more conciliatory tone during the speech, saying: “Why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences and gates around their homes. they don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside but because they love the people on the inside.”

Hakeem Jeffries

Hakeem Jeffries offers a response (Image: TWITTER@RepJeffries)

2.07am update: The shutdown remains for one reason 

Trump blames Democrats for their lack of funding on the wall for the shutdown. 

“This could be solved in a 45-minute meeting,” he says. 

Trump urges Democrats to “rise above” party politics to resolve the shutdown. 

“Democrats are the immoral ones”.

2.04am update: Women and children are the worst victims, says Trump 

He explains his administration has a plan to “keep America safe, in fact, safer than ever before”. 

He has requested more agents and officials to deal with the problem – they are asking for aid and support so illegal immigrant children can be “safely and humanely” returned back home. 

The border “barrier” will be steel and not concrete. 

Trump

Trump speaking from the Oval Office for the first time in 2019 (Image: WHITEHOUSE )

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2.02am update: Trump opens up with comments on drugs and “illegal aliens with criminal records” 

Trump says there is a “growing humanitarian crisis at the border. 

“Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs”.

Trump notes more people will die from drugs this year than died in the entire Viet Nam war.

Trump

Trump speaking from the Oval Office for the first time in 2019 (Image: WHITEHOUSE )

1.58am update: Republican Dan Crenshaw tweets his thoughts ahead of the address

Mr Crenshaw said: “Tonight, the President will be speaking on border security. Some things to keep in mind:

“1) The problems on the border need to be addressed. 400,000 illegal aliens being apprehended per year while crossing an open border is completely unsustainable.”

Dan Crenshaw

A tweet from Republican congressman Dan Crenshaw (Image: TWITTER-@RepDanCrenshaw)

1.44am update: What to expect from the address

President Trump is not expected to declare a national emergency that could empower him to move forward with construction without congressional consent, according to the Washington Post.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi will deliver a response following the President’s address.

Ms Pelosi and Mr Schumer said in a joint statement: “Now that the television networks have decided to air the president’s address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime.”

Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders says he will also follow with his own video statement.

1.33am update: US Vice President Mike Pence states what he believes Trump will talk about today 

Vice President Pence said he thought Trump would raise the border wall and explain how it was a matter of national security. 

Mr Pence said on NBC’s Today show: “What I expect the President will do tonight is explain to the American people that we have a humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.

“He’ll explain the need, not just to build a wall, which he’s determined to do, but also to provide our Border Patrol with additional resources, humanitarian and medical assistance, new technology.”

Source
Daily Express :: World Feed

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