TV Networks to Air Democratic Rebuttal to Trump Wall Speech

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. television and cable networks plan to air a Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s prime-time address pressing his case for building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

NBC said in a statement Tuesday that it will air a Democratic rebuttal after Trump’s speech to the nation at 9 p.m. in Washington. ABC, CBS, Fox and CNN all said they will follow suit. Trump has demanded more than $5 billion to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico that he’s said will control the influx of migrants.

The announcements from the media outlets follows a demand from top congressional Democrats that they be given a chance to refute the president’s comments. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer will deliver the Democratic remarks.

“Now that the television networks have decided to air @realDonaldTrump’s address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime,” Pelosi said Monday on Twitter.

Congress and the president are at an impasse over funding for construction of a wall, prompting a government shutdown that’s in its 18th day. Pelosi and her party oppose Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to fund a wall she’s called “immoral,” although Democrats support providing more than $1 billion for border security.

Appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program, Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday that the administration is prepared for a lengthy shutdown to address what the White House has increasingly tried to portray as a national security issue along the border.

“The passion you hear from President Trump, his determination to take this case to the American people as he will tonight in his national broadcast from the Oval Office, comes from this president’s deep desire to do his job to protect the American people and we’re going to continue to carry that case forward,” Pence said.

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