President Trump is set to make a “major announcement” about the US border with Mexico and the government shutdown this afternoon from the White House. The speech was originally scheduled for 3PM but has been changed for 4PM. You can watch Trump speak live, beginning at 4PM, on the White House’s live stream.
A senior administration official told CNN that Trump is likely to use his speech to offer Democrats a deal to end the long-running government shutdown. CNN reports that the president is expected to propose extending protections for the so-called DREAMers (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients) and for people who have “temporary protected status.” That would come in exchange for the Democrats agreeing to fund the border wall.
An administration official told CNN that Trump is not expected to back down from his demand for a border wall. But the president is expected to “put something on the table” to get Democrats back to the negotiating table. The official also said that talks about a possible national emergency are “ongoing” but that the president isn’t expected to make any announcement about an emergency in today’s speech.
Trump’s announcement comes on the 29th day of the partial government shutdown, which started after Democrats in Congress and the president failed to reach agreement on a budget deal. Democrats have so far insisted that the president re-open the government before they start talks about the border wall.
Here’s How to Watch the President’s ‘Major Announcement’ Live from the White House
The president also previewed his announcement on Twitter earlier this week, warning that “gang members” and “criminals” must be stopped from crossing into the United States. The president urged lawmakers to reach a deal on securing the southern border and cautioned that, “if we don’t do that, we’re a very, very sad and foolish lot.”
Trump tweeted out a video clip that showed him speaking from the snowy White House lawn earlier this week. In it, Tthe president said, “things are happening there [at the southern border] and they have been for many years — decades — but it only gets worse with time, because a lot of people want to come into our country. We have criminals, we have gang members, we have human traffickers, we have drug smugglers. We don’t want them in our country. Take the politics out of it. Let’s get to work, and let’s make a deal. A lot of the Democrats, they agree with me, they’ve told me so, but they’re afraid to say it. We have to secure our southern border. If we don’t do that, we’re a very, very sad and foolish lot.”