Democrats Seek Equal TV Time to Respond to Trump Border Address

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are pushing television networks to give Democrats equal air time to respond to President Donald Trump’s address to the nation Tuesday night on what he calls a border security “crisis.”

“Now that the television networks have decided to air the president’s address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement Monday evening.

Democrats Seek Equal TV Time to Respond to Trump Border Address

All the major over-the-air networks, as well as cable news channels Fox News and CNN, plan to carry the Trump speech, according to company representatives. Fox broadcast network said it hasn’t received a request from Democrats for air time. The other networks, including Fox News, didn’t immediately respond.

Trump has said he’s considering declaring a national emergency to circumvent Congress and build his desired wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. An impasse over his demand for wall funds resulted in a partial government shutdown, now in its third week.

Pelosi has called the idea of a border wall with Mexico an “immorality” that isn’t cost effective and represents an old-world way of thinking about foreign policy. Trump most recently has said he wants a “steel barrier” along the southern border -- as opposed to concrete -- and that such a construction is needed to prevent an inflow of illegal immigrants from coming into the U.S., including potential terrorists.

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