WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is speaking to Americans from the Oval Office to address what he says is a crisis along the nation’s southern border. Trump is hoping to put pressure on congressional Democrats to give him $5.7 billion for a border wall and end a budget standoff that has shut down one-quarter of the federal government.
Our live coverage of the presidential address is below:
9:11 p.m.: Trump wraps up speech without mentioning a declaration of a national emergency, a step he has been considering as a way of freeing up federal funds to build a border wall.
9:09 p.m.: Trump likens the wall to fences around a private home; Democrats call that an absurd analogy because the issue involves a national border for a country that has traditionally welcomed migrants and buys and sells goods from many trading partners.
9:08 p.m.: Trump claims Democrats like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer oppose the wall only because he, Trump, supports it – but does not mention that last month he said he was willing to shut down the government over the wall.
9:07 p.m.: Trump claims a wall would “pay for itself” but does not mention Mexico, which he said during his campaign would pay for the structure.
9:05 p.m.: In arguing for a border wall, Trump uses the phrase “physical barrier” and says it would be made of steel.
9:05 p.m.: Trump keeps stressing the “humanitarian” aspects of the problem – likely an appeal to Democrats – and did not mention the wall in the first four minutes of the speech.