President Donald Trump made a somber televised plea for border wall funding Tuesday night, seeking an edge in his shutdown battle with congressional Democrats as he declared there is "a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul." Addressing the nation from the Oval Office for the first time, Trump argued for funding on security and humanitarian grounds as he sought to put pressure on newly empowered Democrats amid an extended partial government shutdown. Trump called on Democrats to return to the White House to meet with him, saying it was "immoral" for "politicians to do nothing." Previous meetings have led to no agreement. Trump, who has long railed against illegal immigration at the border, has recently seized on humanitarian concerns to argue there is a broader crisis that can only be solved with a wall. But critics say the security risks are overblown and the administration is at least partly to blame for the humanitarian situation. Trump has been discussing the idea of declaring a national emergency to allow him to move forward with the wall without getting congressional approval for the $5.7 billion he's requested. But he did not mention that Tuesday night. With his use of a formal White House speech instead of his favored Twitter blasts, Trump embraced the ceremonial trappings of his office as he tries to exit a political quagmire of his own making. For weeks he has dug in on a signature campaign promise to his base voters, the pledge to build an impregnable "beautiful" wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The partial government shutdown reached its 18th day, making the closure the second-longest in history. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers are going without pay, and government disruptions are hitting home with everyday Americans.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (puh-LOH'-see) is accusing the White House of leaking information about a planned congressional trip to Afghanistan and saying it's "very irresponsible on the part of the president." Pelosi's comments Friday came after President Donald Trump canceled the military plane that was to have carried Pelosi and a congressional delegation to Afghanistan on the previously undisclosed troop visit. Trump suggested she travel by commercial plane instead. Pelosi told reporters she planned to do just that but was thwarted after "the administration leaked that we were traveling commercially." She says it was a "dangerous" leak. Asked how she knows leaked information came from White House, Pelosi shrugged and said, "I rest my case." The White House has denied leaking Pelosi's backup plan to fly to Afghanistan commercially and says it leaked nothing that would cause a security risk. Pelosi and Trump are at an impasse over funding Trump wants for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, which Pelosi opposes. The partial government shutdown has reached its 28th day.
With shutdown negotiations deadlocked, the White House planned further meetings with rank-and-file lawmakers Wednesday, as the Trump administration acknowledged the prolonged standoff over his border wall funding demands is having a greater economic drag than previously thought. President Donald Trump has invited a bipartisan group of lawmakers known as the Problem Solvers caucus to talks, but it was far from clear the session would yield a breakthrough on the shutdown's 26th day. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Wednesday that the economy remained strong. "I know there has been some impact, but at the same time we're focused on the long term economic principles the president has laid out," she said. The president's economists, meanwhile, said the shutdown was having a greater impact than previously projected. In a call with reporters, White House Council of Economic Advisers chairman Kevin Hassett said Tuesday the shutdown is reducing economic growth more than predicted. He said the "hope is this resolves quickly and that it won't have a major impact on the long-run outlook, even though it does have a major impact on individual lives." The House and Senate have announced they will cancel an upcoming recess week if the shutdown continued, which seemed likely. Trump has not moved off his demand to have Congress provide $5.7 billion to build his promised border wall with Mexico. Sanders also told reporters that Trump thought his nominee to be the next attorney general "did a good job yesterday." Under questioning by the Senate Tuesday, nominee William Barr also sought to ease concerns that he might disturb the special counsel's investigation of Russian election meddling and possible Trump campaign involvement. Barr told senators Tuesday that he didn't consider the investigation a "witch hunt" as Trump has stated. He also said that it was in the public interest for special counsel Robert Mueller to finish his investigation. "The presiden...
Pelosi SOT "It was very irresponsible on the part of the president" U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hit back at President Donald Trump on Friday for allegedly leaking her commercial travel plans to visit Afghanistan… after Trump denied her the use of a military aircraft to make the trip. Pelosi SOT "we had a report from Afghanistan that the president outing our trip had made the scene on the ground much more dangerous because it's just a signal to the bad actors that you are coming…. You never give advanced notice when going into a battle area…" The White House quickly DENIED leaking Pelosi's plans to travel with several other Democratic lawmakers.. saying in a statement quote "The idea we would leak anything that would put the safety and security of any American at risk is an offensive flat out lie." Citing the 4-week-old partial government shutdown, on Thursday, Trump sent a letter to Pelosi calling off her travel plans just before she was set to depart, saying quote "Due to the Shutdown, I'm sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan has been postponed." The move appeared to be in retaliation for Pelosi's request a day earlier that Trump postpone the State of the Union address until the shutdown was resolved…. The White House on Friday said it was barring U.S. congressional travel on government-owned or operated aircraft during the partial government shutdown unless approved by the administration… As meaningful negotiations between President Trump and Democrats seem to be fading, the president is showing no signs of budging from his position that he would not reopen government until Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, agreed to put $5.7 billion dollars toward a wall on the border with Mexico. As the two sides continue to feud, the hardship grows daily for some 800,000 federal employees who are furloughed or working without pay.
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