Pelosi, Schumer say Democrats should get 'equal airtime' after Trump address

U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House from Camp David

Trump's tweet came shortly after The New York Times reported that the White House had requested prime-time television slots on Tuesday night for Trump to make an Oval Office address on the border wall and government shutdown.

Trump will take to the airwaves at 9:00 p.m.

I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border.

"Now that the television networks have made a decision 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", their statement read.

President Donald Trump speaks on the South Lawn of the White House as he walks from Marine One, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Washington. CBS, the first network to announce it would air the speech, didn't immediately respond to an inquiry about its plans.

A wall on the Southern border with Mexico was Trump's hallmark campaign promise, and he is under pressure from his base and conservative commentators to deliver.But unable to obtain the funding he desired for it under a GOP-controlled Congress for the past two years, Trump last month said he would not sign any spending measure that did not contain sufficient funding for its construction.

Last week the president told reporters he is considering declaring a national emergency to fund a border wall.

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"Look, if Harry Truman couldn't nationalize the steel industry during wartime, this President doesn't have the power to declare an emergency and build a multibillion dollar wall on the border", Schiff said.

Trump has maintained throughout his presidency his commitment to building the wall, and he has battled with Democrats hellbent on opposing it every step of the way.

The government is on day 16 of the partial shutdown - the second-longest in history slated to become the longest this weekend.

Trump has argued the wall is necessary for national security and has tried to link terrorism to illegal immigration, without providing evidence, as justification for the plan. The source said Democratic staff repeatedly urged the administration and Republicans to reopen the government, but their requests were rejected.

Trump has said he opposes a piecemeal approach that does not resolve his demand for a wall. "Many details of Border Security were discussed". Although a handful of Republican senators from swing states have expressed a desire to end the partial shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is adamant that the Senate will not vote on funding bills that don't have support from the president.

Trump said, however, that he expected "very serious talks" early this week and that he "can relate" to federal workers affected by the shutdown.

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