President to claim border 'crisis' as he seeks funds for wall

President to claim border 'crisis' as he seeks funds for wall

That's what we got today on the Donald Trump parallel reality prime time show from the Oval Office as the USA president exploited his powerful office to reel off a litany of scare stories about illegal immigration and a non-existent "humanitarian crisis" at the USA border while 800,000 federal government workers are working without pay since 22 December previous year because of the ongoing shutdown over Trump's tantrum over getting his $5.7 billion for a border wall.

Speaking to the nation from the Oval Office for the first time, President Trump said that all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal immigration.

Both sides are trying to gain an edge amid an 18-day government shutdown. And Senate Democrats have approved similar funding year after year.

During an off-the-record lunch on Tuesday, Trump said that it was not his idea to deliver the speech or visit the southern border, two sources briefed on the meeting told the New York Times. Trump is expected to discuss what he calls a "humanitarian and national security crisis", although reports conflict about whether he will actually declare an emergency, as he has previously threatened.

Mr Trump said an as-yet-unratified revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement would pay for the wall, a claim previously disputed by economists.

"The President is rejecting these bipartisan Bills, which would reopen government, over his obsession with forcing American taxpayers to waste billions of dollars on an expensive and ineffective wall, a wall he always promised Mexico would pay for", Ms Pelosi said.

Ms Pelosi said Mr Trump was manufacturing a crisis.

As well many Democrats voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which has resulted in the construction of about 1,050 kilometres of border barrier. While Trump has previously described the situation on the border that way - including when he directed active duty troops there ahead of the midterm elections- he has never signed an official proclamation. He's asked Congress for $5.6 billion.

Trump has invited congressional leadership to the White House Wednesday to find a solution.

On Thursday he heads to the south-western border.

"We don't govern by temper tantrum", Schumer said.

After the networks agreed to air Trump's address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement demanding the chance to respond to the president, whose speech they claimed "will be full of malice and misinformation". But he also raised the spectre of murder and other crimes committed by illegal aliens to justify increased border security. They oppose spending money on something which Mr Trump always claimed he would get the Mexican government to pay for.

He's terrified that his base will leave him, he's terrified of Robert Mueller and today's prime time outburst is how Trump deals with his fear: appeal to the worst instincts of his least educated voters. If Robert Mueller's playing chess, the prosecutors in NY may be his queen. Government figures do not suggest anything close to a crisis-level influx of unauthorized immigrants; the number of people apprehended crossing the Mexican border, which US officials use as a proxy measure for how many people are trying to cross in total, is a quarter what it was two decades ago.

"If you listen carefully, you can hear network execs coming up with tortured, wholly unbelievable reasons for why they will air Trump's speech tomorrow night when they deemed one from Obama too political and refused to carry", tweeted Democratic political strategist Adam Parkhomenko. "That's 58 percent. A wall is not going to do anything to keep them out of the country or get them out of the country", Kiriakou added.

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