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January 8th, at 9PM Eastern Time, President Donald J. Trump has delivered his first Oval Office address in response to the humanitarian crisis on the border. Leading up to his first address there was huge uproar among members of the Democratic Party over the lies President Trump has said. CNN’s Jim Acosta had actually cornered Kellyanne Conway and asked her if she could “promise the President would tell the truth in his address.” To which she replied in a sassy way that created a small uproar on Twitter for a few minutes.
CNN and MSNBC had fact-checking after the President had finished his speech, something we have never seen before in response to a President’s Oval Office address. This was a compromise made by the media organizations as they originally contemplated even airing the address during prime-time. Immediately after the eight-minute address they had Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi on to refute anything the President could have said during his speech on border security, and whilst many conservatives took to Twitter asking when the Republicans had the same privilege, it became clear that the Republicans also had a rebuttal to President Obama’s address in 2011.
The President read off of a teleprompter during his Oval Office address and did not answer questions after, both of those things being very common when giving formal speeches such as these. He talked about the amount of drugs and children trafficked over the border. Trump had also included the statistic of 1 in 3 women being sexually abused on their journey to America. He very persuasively argued the need for border security and fixing of the immigration system overall. In total, the President’s speech was extremely presidential, a pleasant surprise from the normal twitter-based speech.
It had been speculated, even by myself on Twitter, that the President would announce if he was going to declare a national emergency in order to re-allocate funds for the border wall. It became pretty apparent before the speech even aired that it looked like the President will not be declaring a national emergency, although his speech did create the perfect sense of urgency to place pressure on the Democratic Party. Instead, the President pleaded for bi-partisanship to re-open the government with the needed funding for the border wall.
Chuck Schumer’s twitter feed had blown up after the President’s speech. More people than ever before was calling for the border wall, and bashing his policies and apparent changing of his mind from 2006 when he made comments about illegal immigration. After his response, his twitter feed did not seem to cool down with roaring citizens now concerned over the outpouring of drugs entering this country.
In Chuck and Nancy’s response, they quoted statistics of federal employees being harmed by the government shutdown and the need to re-open the government. They called for the President to separate issues of border security, and pass the government budget to allow for federally-funded government organizations to re-open. Republicans, however, beg the President not to fall under the same trap as Reagan, and to not give up any power or bargaining chips in this battle for the border.