In his speech, Trump reiterated his claims that the "thousands of illegal immigrants" entering the US every day are hurting the economy, bringing heroin with them, and "[driving] down jobs and wages", and that his $5.7 billion border wall "would very quickly pay for itself"-claims that were swiftly called into question and labeled only partly true, if at all, by various fact-checking efforts. Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, said the "president just got up and walked out".
Trump ticked off a string of statistics and claims to make his case that there is a crisis at the border, but a number of his statements were misleading, such as saying the new trade deal with Mexico would pay for the wall, or suggesting through gruesome examples that immigrants are more likely to commit crime.
The administration is also at least talking about the idea of declaring a national emergency to allow Trump to move forward on the wall without Congress approving the $5.6 billion he wants.
Feldman added he was surprised at how "toned-down" Trump's prime-time address was.
"We were all behind the president on the border security issue", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, standing beside the president after the luncheon.
"I was a little bit anxious that when I heard Stephen Miller was leading this speech creation that we were going to have something really outrageous", he said, referring to Trump's senior policy adviser.More news: United States warns citizens they could be prevented from leaving China
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This will be Trump's first Oval Office speech, and on Thursday he will travel to the southern border to highlight his demand for a barrier. "Both Pelosi and Schumer know their foundational argument but will firm up their rebuttal in real time because of uncertainty surrounding where President Trump may lead the American people", a source close to the preparations told the newspaper. Three weeks into the shutdown, the strain was starting to show with hundreds of thousands of federal workers on track to miss paychecks this week.
"Now that the television networks have chose 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", Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement.
Trump called on Democrats to return to the White House to meet with him, saying it was "immoral" for "politicians to do nothing". I think we need to bring them back.
"We have been negotiating", she said.
She blamed Trump for rejecting the "bipartisan bills which would re-open 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!"
"The Republican Party, I can say, we had an hour meeting, a great time". Now need you to stand with me, " read one message sent out after his remarks.