As the government goes into its 18th consecutive day of a partial shutdown status and federal workers are staring down their first missed paycheck of the year, President Donald Trump will go on TV on Tuesday, Jan. 8 to make an appeal to the nation. Trump is expected to spend his airtime discussing funding for a border wall with Mexico, which has become the sticking point in budget negotiations that led to the shutdown in December. With the stakes so high, it's not a speech to be missed, so here's how to watch Trump's prime time address.
The address is slated to take place from the Oval Office Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET, and several major news networks on Monday agreed to give up time in their prime time programming at the president's request. According to Vox, most of the big players on TV will be carrying the address, including major networks NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, and FOX affiliates, as well as cable outlets like CNN, Fox News, and C-SPAN. If you don't have a TV, you may be able to watch via a livestream service.
The president's request was apparently limited to eight minutes of airtime, per Variety, which he's expected to spend rallying support for his demand of $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall, which Democrats have remained steadfast against in negotiations. It's possible that Trump's address will also include mention of a national emergency, following reports on Jan. 4 that he was considering using his power to declare a national emergency in order to activate defense funding to build the wall — something legal experts have pushed back against. The White House did not respond to Elite Daily's questions regarding the possibility of such a move at the time.
Whatever he chooses to talk about, the speech itself has many in Washington and the nation on edge. In agreeing to give Trump airtime, there are concerns about Trump speaking to the entire nation essentially without any checks. Specifically, many are worried that his remarks Tuesday, as is typical of his speech on camera, will be grossly exaggerated or all-out false, and there has been debate about whether it's ethically sound for media to cover him live given the amount of misinformation he tends to spread. The White House did not return Elite Daily's request for comment regarding fact-checking and the president's truthfulness at time of publication.
In fact, per The Washington Post's running tally, in 2018 alone, Trump made an average of 15 false and misleading statements a day, and over 7,600 since taking office. In honor of the address Tuesday, fact-checking site PolitiFact announced they'd be covering the event in real time, so if you'd like to tune in, follow along on their social media channels and website.
Already, Trump's team has come under fire for making falsehoods over the border wall issue. On Sunday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was called out by Fox News' Chris Wallace on an inaccurate claim that 4,000 terrorists a year illegally crossed the U.S. borders. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on the Jan. 6 exchange, but did not receive a response as of publication.
"In the first 2 years of this presidency, Trump and his staff have been sloppy with statistics and facts in major speeches, even SOTU," tweeted The Post's Glenn Kessler. The question is: Will they clean up their act for this Oval Office address — or overlook the gadzillion fact checks already written?
Apparently Democratic leaders had the same concerns about putting out a president's statement without any sort of opportunity to push back or counter what he says. Shortly after Trump's announcement Monday requesting the airtime, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, freshly sworn in the new Democratic-majority chamber, requested that if the president gets the time, then an equal amount of time should be given to the Democratic leaders to make their rebuttal, per CNN. According to the AP, Pelosi and her counterpart Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are confirmed to make a rebuttal on the same networks following Trump.
So there you have it: Tune in to any of those major networks, or outlets if you have cable, and you can be sure to catch Trump's latest speech.