Trump's 'National Emergency' is Bogus, 'Humanitarian Crisis' is Real

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So, he turned to his favourite medium - television. The president, with his recent efforts, may have bought himself a bit more time for negotiations. They've run smaller snippets of meandering press conferences or surprise appearances.

The president's prime-time address has been controversial because of Trump's propensity for lying. So, why did Trump do this Oval Office "address"? It invokes memories of important moments in the nation's history.

George W Bush delivered his first such speech as the U.S. - and world - reeled from the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.

But Mr Trump's nine-minute address is unlikely to be remembered by the nation in quite the same way.

Mr Trump's decision to use peak television airtime shows he is trying to reach beyond his base to garner support. A crisis of the heart.

"The better he does with that, the better it helps us to get to where we need to go".

Though Mr Trump did not declare a national emergency on Tuesday night, analysts say he may still do so before the shutdown is resolved.

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He said his administration's proposal also includes technology upgrades to detect drugs and weapons, money to hire more border agents and to increase the number of beds available to house those detained trying to cross the border. "More Americans will die this year due to drugs than were killed in the entire Vietnam war", he said.

His special address will be followed by a special visit on Thursday to the southern border.

Even when he did finally mention the wall it was only as "part of an overall approach to border security" and announced that "at the request of Democrats it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall". In fact, House Democrats passed legislation the day they took control of the House that offered $1.3 billion for border security. Eighteen days into the second-longest shutdown in US history, Trump has no easy way out of a standoff the numbers suggest he is losing.

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.

Leaning on Senate Republicans, some of whom are growing anxious about the impact of the shutdown, Pelosi said the House would begin passing individual bills this week to reopen shuttered federal agencies, starting with the Treasury Department to ensure Americans receive their tax refunds.

So, did the duelling speeches tonight change anybody's mind?

Positions on the wall are entrenched.

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Media captionFive questions about Trump's border wall What did President Trump say?

The Trump administration has also been citing a figure that 4,000 suspected terrorists were prevented from entering the country in 2017.

There were some calls to fact-check the speech live, and already the President's statistics and assertions are under scrutiny, notably his claim that Mexico would indirectly end up paying for the wall via a new trade deal.

Congressman for Ohio's 13th District Tim Ryan tweeted that Mr Trump was only concerned with "stoking fear in the American people".

"The women and children at the border are not a security threat", Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a televised rebuttal, as she accused Mr. Trump of "manufacturing a crisis".

The symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a thirty-foot wall.

Both sides see little political downside to standing firm.

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The president often highlights such incidents, though studies over several years have found immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States. But end this shutdown now.

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