As we enter into yet another week of the partial government shutdown, it looks like President Donald Trump still isn't budging on receiving funding for his border wall. In fact, he doubled down with a prime-time address on Tuesday, Jan. 8 to make his case for why he believes this wall is necessary. But his argument apparently wasn't the strongest, because these fact checks of Trump's address about the border wall point out some major mistakes. New year, but some things never change.
On Tuesday, Jan. 8, President Donald Trump delivered an address at 9 p.m. ET to discuss the "humanitarian and national security crisis" supposedly occurring at the United States' southern border. Even from the start, many were worried about what he might say, given that the president has a long history of making false statements. Elite Daily reached out to the White House ahead of the address for comment regarding the president's truthfulness and the address, but did not hear back.
While speaking, Trump did indeed make some bold claims pertaining to the wall and immigration. For one, Trump said that the wall would be paid for indirectly by Mexico because of the new trade deal. But per CNN, this is false. This new USMCA trade deal, which replaces NAFTA and supposedly will increase tax revenue, hasn't been finalized by Congress quite yet. It's also disputable whether there would be any major increase in tax revenue, as USMCA isn't appreciably different from the old NAFTA deal. Plus, even if an increased tax revenue does happen, there's no guarantee that the money will be used to fund Trump's border wall — CNN points out that any taxes brought in would go into the general tax pot to be appropriated by Congress along with the rest of tax revenue. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on the claim, but did not immediately hear back.
It's not the first time Trump claimed that Mexico would pay for the wall. Assurances that Mexico would pay for the wall was an ongoing theme of his 2016 presidential campaign, despite Mexico repeatedly saying that, no, they would not.
It wasn't the only disputed claim. Trump also blamed Democrats for the ongoing government shutdown, saying that Democrats refuse to fund border security. While the shutdown is the result of disputes over funding border security, Trump's statement doesn't tell the whole story. As Politico pointed out, Democrats have specifically refused to fund the $5 billion Trump requested for the wall. However, they have supported bills that would reopen the government and give $1 billion for border security — just not the wall. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on the claim, but did not immediately hear back.
Finally, Trump made the argument for his border wall by suggesting that immigrants are dangerous, citing deaths of Americans allegedly at the hands of illegal immigrants. "How much more American blood must be shed for Congress to do its job," he said, rhetorically. However, research shows that immigrants, whether in the country legally or not, have lower rates of crime, including violent crime, than native-born Americans. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on the claim, but did not immediately hear back.
Over the past few months, Trump and House Democrats have been battling it out over approving the $5 billion funding Trump has requested for the U.S.-Mexico border wall. So far, no compromise has been made, which has resulted in the partial government shutdown continuing over two weeks.
On Jan. 7, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders revealed via Twitter that Trump would visit the southern border "to meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis," per her tweet.
Over the past few months, Trump has consistently cited the need for border security as his reason for continuing the shutdown. So far, there have been numerous meetings between him and Democrats to address the current problem at hand, but no compromise has been made. However, on Dec. 29, 2018, Trump's recent comment about the shutdown took an... interesting turn, to say the least. That day, Trump took to Twitter to talk about the recent meeting between him and House Democrats as a way to "make a deal on border security." Pretty standard, right? Well, things took a turn when he proceeded to claim that Democrats are guilty of "presidential harassment," which has prohibited the administration from "stopping crime." Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment about Trump's tweet at the time, but did not hear back.
The current partial government shutdown represents the second longest shutdown in United States history, with 800,000 federal workers impacted, according to The New York Times. Among those federal workers, many of them won't be paid as we enter yet another week of the shutdown.
Trump's public address may have been all about border security on the southern border, but no change will happen unless compromise is made. We'll just have to wait and see what comes from all of this.