Trump addresses the nation, Democrats respond

By Veronica Rocha, Brian Ries, Meg Wagner and Amanda Wills, CNN

Updated 10:32 p.m. ET, January 8, 2019
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9:48 p.m. ET, January 8, 2019

Trump wrongly claims Democrats requested a steel barrier on the southern border

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

President Trump claimed tonight that, "At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall."

Despite Trump's claim, Democrats did not request a steel barrier on the US-Mexico border.

Democrats have long been strenuously opposed to Trump's campaign promise that he would build a concrete wall on the US-Mexico border. But they did not propose a steel barrier as an alternative.

Rather, Democrats have continued to oppose the construction of any new steel or concrete barrier on the Southern border. They have only kept the door open to funding a border barrier as part of a broader immigration deal.

9:46 p.m. ET, January 8, 2019

In border argument, Trump misleadingly claims drugs will kill more Americans than Vietnam

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

President Trump speaks to the nation in his first-prime address from the Oval Office of the White House on January 8, 2019 in Washington, DC.
President Trump speaks to the nation in his first-prime address from the Oval Office of the White House on January 8, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Carlos Barria/Pool/Getty Images)

President Trump claimed "more Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War."

Some 58,220 Americans died as a result of the Vietnam War. In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of total drug overdose deaths was 70,327.

Trump’s assertion is misleading: He is conflating the drugs coming across the US-Mexico border with total drug deaths in the US. In addition, it’s not currently known whether overdose deaths will increase or decrease when the CDC releases 2018 data later this year.

Trump’s figures do not distinguish between deaths caused by drugs smuggled into the country versus those prescribed by US doctors.

The majority of hard narcotics seized by Customs and Border Protection come through ports of entry either in packages, cargo or with people who attempt to enter the US legally. The only drug that is smuggled in higher numbers between legal entry points is marijuana, according to information from Customs and Border Protection and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

9:36 p.m. ET, January 8, 2019

Trump rightly claims Schumer has supported a physical barrier in the past

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

President Trump claimed that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer "has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past."

Trump is right: But the context is key.

Schumer has previously supported legislation to build physical barriers on the US-Mexico border. Most notably, Schumer and other Democrats supported the 2006 Secure Fence Act that authorized the construction of several hundred miles of fencing along the border -- but not a wall.

However, as long as the government remains shutdown, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have refused to offer any funding for a border barrier.

9:27 p.m. ET, January 8, 2019

Schumer scolds Trump: "We don’t govern by temper tantrum"

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, speaking moments after President Trump's prime-time address, said the solution for the shutdown is obvious: "Separate the shutdown from the arguments over border security."

"There is bipartisan legislation — supported by Democrats and Republicans — to re-open government while allowing debate over border security to continue. There is no excuse for hurting millions of Americans over a policy difference," he said, speaking alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

He went on to say that no president should demand "he gets his way or else the government shuts down."

"We don't govern by temper tantrum," Schumer said.

"No president should pound the table and demand he gets his way or else the government shuts down. Hurting millions of Americans who are treated as leverage."

Pelosi added: “President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must re-open the government.”

9:31 p.m. ET, January 8, 2019

Trump highlights violence migrants face in transit to US

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez

Trump acknowledged the violence migrants face in transit to the U.S. during his address when he stated, "One in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico. Women and children are the biggest victims by far of our broken system. This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border." 

Indeed, the trek to the U.S.-Mexico border has been reported to be violent.

According to data from Doctors Without Borders, 68.3 percent of migrants and refugees "entering Mexico reported being victims of violence during their transit toward the United States," and nearly one-third of women said they'd been sexually abused.

But some perspective: This very violence is why women choose to travel in caravans, to achieve safety in numbers. Trump has offered no specifics about how his policies would address the scourge of sexual violence faced by migrants.

The administration has argued in the past that by building the wall, migrants will be deterred from making the journey.

9:21 p.m. ET, January 8, 2019

Trump does not declare national emergency in address

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump stopped short of declaring a national emergency in a nationally televised address to the nation on Tuesday.

Speaking from the Oval Office, the President cast the border issue as a crisis and railed against crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.

But he did not declare the matter a national emergency, which could have allowed him to fund his promised border wall without congressional approval.

The President has openly weighed taking that step in the past days, and the White House counsel's office continues to assess its legality.

Instead, Trump said he would continue negotiating with Democrats at a Wednesday meeting.

9:27 p.m. ET, January 8, 2019

Trump claimed his new trade agreement will pay for the wall, despite lack of earmarks

From CNN's Katie Lobosco

Trump claimed, "The wall will also be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico."

Even if the United States Mexico Trade Agreement ends up raising tax revenue, there's nothing earmarking that money for a wall. Income and corporate taxes are general revenue that would have to be appropriated by Congress.

Another way trade could bring money into the Treasury is through tariffs -- which are paid by American importers when they buy foreign goods. But like the original North American Free Trade Agreement, the new deal aims to keep trade between the three countries largely tariff-free.

9:35 p.m. ET, January 8, 2019

Trump places onus of shutdown on Democrats

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump on Tuesday put the onus of an 18-day partial government shutdown on Democrats, saying the matter could be easily resolved if his political opponents cede to his demands on border funding.

"The government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: the Democrats will not fund border security," Trump said in the Oval Office.

Democrats have expressed support for border security steps like enhanced technology, but have refused to provide support for a border barrier.

Trump said he would resume talks with Democrats on Wednesday.

"This situation could be resolved in a 45 minute meeting," he said. "I have invited congressional leadership to the White House tomorrow to get this done."

9:14 p.m. ET, January 8, 2019

Trump claimed all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal immigration. Experts aren't so sure.

From CNN's Priscilla Alavarez

President Trump said, “All Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal immigration.”

It’s very difficult to know exactly how much or little undocumented immigrants cost the United States. Many experts contest the notion that undocumented immigrants are a strain on the economy. A 2017 analysis noted that undocumented immigrants “make considerable tax contributions,” for example.

Similarly, a 2018 study by the libertarian Cato Institute, which reviewed criminal conviction data from the Texas Department of Public Safety, found that immigrants—legal or illegally—are less likely than native-born Americans to be convicted of a crime. Throughout the country, there is also generally a decrease in the number of violent crimes, according to the FBI.