President Trump announced that he will address the nation on Tuesday night before traveling later in the week to the U.S.-Mexico border, as he seeks to highlight border security and presses Democrats for wall funding amid the protracted standoff that triggered a partial government shutdown now stretching into its 17th day.
“I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border. Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern,” Trump tweeted on Monday.
His travel plans to the border were revealed earlier in a tweet by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
“President @realDonaldTrump will travel to the Southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis. More details will be announced soon,” Sanders tweeted.
A law enforcement source told Fox News that Trump plans to visit the border by McAllen, Texas.
The president’s visit will come on what is likely to be the 20th day of the partial government shutdown. Numerous government agencies first ran out of funding on Dec. 22, as Democrats vowed to block Trump’s requested $5.7 billion to build the border wall and Trump insisted on the money.
Last week, House Democrats passed a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees construction of the wall, at current levels through Feb. 8, with $1.3 billion for border security—a figure far less than Trump requested. Senate Republicans so far have not taken it up.
The president told congressional Democratic leaders during a meeting on Friday that he was willing to keep the government shutdown for as long as necessary — possibly months or even years — in order to get the funding he wants.