Donald Trump Says Mexican Border Is in 'Crisis' During Oval Office Address

Donald Trump used his first televised address from the Oval Office to ask for border wall funding.

donald trump oval office address
Image via Getty/Carlos Barria
donald trump oval office address

Donald Trump shared his thoughts about immigration and border security in a televised address from the Oval Office on Jan. 8. The president split his message between talking about the humanitarian issue of migrants attempting to cross the border and stories of Americans murdered by people who have entered the United States illegally.

Trump mentioned that he has spent time with families whose relatives were killed by undocumented immigrants, a segue he's used to spread lies in the past.

"I will never forget the pain in their eyes, the tremble in their voices and the sadness in their souls," he said, after again calling out MS-13. "Imagine if it was your child, your husband, or your wife."

Trump glided past the fact that he has said that he won't sign a bill that doesn't contain border wall funding, asking Congress to pass a bill that ends the government shutdown. 

"To every member of Congress, pass a bill that ends this crisis," he said. "This is a choice between right and wrong, justice and injustice."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement agreeing with the president's speech. He claimed that Democrats were refusing to negotiate due to "partisan spite," even though members of the House passed a bipartisan funding bill that McConnell has failed to bring before the Senate. 

Democratic congressional leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi responded to the address immediately, with the latter saying that Trump's speech was "full of misinformation and even malice." 

"The president is rejecting bipartisan bills that would open the government," Pelosi said. "He promised to keep government shut down for months or years no matter who it hurts. That's just plain wrong."

Pelosi accused Trump of "holding the American people hostage" to secure funding for a border wall. Schumer agreed with Pelosi, calling a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border "ineffective" and "unnecessary."

"We don't govern by temper tantrum," Schumer said. "Democrats and the president both want stronger border security. We sharply differ on how to do it.... There is no excuse for hurting millions of Americans over a policy difference." 

Schumer closed his address by emphatically asking Trump to re-open the government so that members of Congress can negotiate a border security plan.

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