Trump pleads on TV for wall money; Dems say he ‘stokes fear'

Trump pleads on TV for wall money; Dems say he ‘stokes fear'

And the top Democrats in Congress - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY - followed minutes later by making the opposite case in their own televised remarks, saying a wall is not needed. A growing number of moderate Republican lawmakers also want the crisis to end, a shift from the first days of the shutdown that has increased pressure on Trump to back down.

"Since 2000 we haven't had an expand-the-base election", Spicer said.

Conway told Fox News: "This entire week, the president is trying to share with the American people what he knows first-hand, which is what is really happening at the border".

"Certainly it's hurting a lot of innocent people who are wondering whether they're going to get their check to pay their rent or their mortgage or put food on the table", Cornyn said.

He's not completely wrong: As The New York Times notes (citing a 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment), most of the heroin smuggled into the country does come in via the southern border with Mexico. Building a wall would do very little to stop drugs from coming into the country. For the sake of the nation and of his presidency, the president needs to relent on his hardline demand for over $5 billion in border wall funding, and should be willing to make a deal with the Democrats.

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The Democratic leaders, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, gave their response Tuesday to President Trump's prime-time Oval Office speech that called for border security. But the move would have sparked several legal challenges, and advisers in the White House were reportedly divided about whether to take that step. That plan included $1.3 billion for border security, though it stipulated that the funding could not be used for a wall.

Trump was still working closely with top aides, including his chief speechwriter and policy adviser Stephen Miller, into the afternoon to fine tune his speech, one person familiar with Trump's thinking said, and he has been known to make last-minute changes.

Schumer said Trump "just used the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration". White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that he will use the visit to "meet with those on the front lines of the national security and humanitarian crisis".

"The government's statistics show that there is less violent crime by the undocumented immigrant population than by the general population", he said.

Trump sought to put the blame on Democrats for the standoff, saying they "will not fund border security".

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