Trump demands border wall funding in TV address

2019-01-09 at 12:51

US President Donald Trump has demanded funding for his long-promised US-Mexico border wall to halt “a growing humanitarian and security crisis”.

But in his first TV address to the nation from the Oval Office, Trump did not declare a national emergency to bypass Congress and build the barrier.

In a televised rebuttal, Democratic leaders accused the president of holding the American people hostage. Both sides are trying to gain an edge amid an 18-day government shutdown.

In the eight-minute address carried live by all the major US television networks, Trump said: “This is a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.”

“The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security.”

The current closure of a quarter of federal agencies is the second-longest in history, leaving hundreds of thousands of government workers unpaid.

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