Trump declares he'll build 'human wall if necessary' ahead of major speech

Blanche Robertson
February 8, 2019

It comes at a perilous time in Trump's presidency, with the threat of another government shutdown looming due to a partisan impasse over construction of a wall on the US border with Mexico.

Trump appealed for bipartisanship but refused to yield on the hard-line immigration policies that have infuriated Democrats and forced the recent government shutdown. Delivering the speech at the midway point of a three-week reprieve, his message will be colored by the prospect of yet another shutdown. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was praised by Democrats for her hard-line negotiating during the shutdown, sat behind Trump as he spoke.

The president's single-minded drive - and failure - to get congressional funding for that wall is at the heart of the political dysfunction his speech claimed to be trying to resolve.

"It's that alternative. It's a national emergency, it's other things".

Joshua Trump was one of 17 people invited by USA president Donald Trump and his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, to attend the event on Tuesday.

Congress' refusal to fund a border wall resulted in a partial government shutdown that delayed the annual State of the Union address, originally scheduled for January 29, until February 5.

Should the president do that Tuesday night, it would likely be met with an uncomfortable reaction from Republicans inside the chamber. And tonight, the president will no doubt use his State of the Union address to reassure them that he hasn't given up on his promise of a U.S./Mexico border wall.

Some of Trump's own fellow conservatives are urging Trump not to declare an emergency.

Lloyd Doggett, a Democrat congressman, said that Trump's speechwriters could not change the reality of the current White House. He will call for unity as predecessors have done in the century since the custom of in-person State of the Union addresses was revived by President Woodrow Wilson.

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At 9pm local time on Tuesday (1300 AEDT Wednesday) before a joint session of congress, Mr Trump likely will stir contention with remarks on immigration policy.

And instead of majorities in the House and Senate, the President will face a majority of Democratic lawmakers during his speech - a makeup that is sure to swing the applause-o-meter and amplify the sense of political division around the country. Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Elizabeth Warren of MA and Kirsten Gillibrand of NY.

This could include infrastructure improvements, lowering prescription drug costs and healthcare.

As he condemned political turmoil in Venezuela, Trump declared that "America will never be a socialist country" - a remark that may also have been targeted at high-profile Democrats who identify as socialists.

But the president said his outreach to Pyongyang had made the USA safer.

"He's calling for cooperation, and he's calling for comity, c-o-m-i-t-y, and also compromise".

The White House classified this year's speech as "visionary" - looking toward the future and presenting a "common-sense path forward" with a "very American and can-do optimistic approach". He also called for a bipartisan push to eradicate the AIDS epidemic in the United States in a decade. The world's two largest economies are in talks to try to hammer out an agreement to end a trade war. Trump will not only be reaching out to the Bible Belt during his State of the Union address-he will also be trying to convince Rust Belt voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and OH that they need to support him again in 2020.

The address is also being used as a fundraising tool for the President's re-election campaign, soliciting input from supporters.

Find KTLA's updated coverage of President Trump's State of the Union address here. They sat with first lady Melania Trump during the address. Nancy & Chuck don't want me to speak, Mainstream Media outlets don't want me to speak, and the Hollywood Elites don't want me to speak. And you know there have been plenty of national emergencies called.

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