9 Jan 2019

Oval Office address: 'Trump has appealed to fear, not facts'

5:40 pm on 9 January 2019

Democrats moved swiftly to condemn US President Donald Trump's televised address on border security, accusing him of stoking fear and holding the country hostage.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: AFP

In his first live adrress from the White House, Mr Donald Trump talked of a growing humanitarian crisis at the southern border and called on Congress to fund the wall.

In a brief rebuttal, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded that Mr Trump end the shutdown.

Ms Pelosi said Mr Trump was manufacturing a crisis.

Mr Schumer accused Mr Trump of trying to "govern by temper tantrum".

"President Trump has appealed to fear, not facts. Division, not unity," the New York senator added.

He concluded: "The symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall."

Following Mr Trump's run down of crime by illegal immigrants, pundits on Twitter were quick to point out mass murders and criminals are often white Americans.

Amnesty International tweeted that families fleeing violence deserve human rights.

Congressman for Ohio's 13th District Tim Ryan tweeted that Mr Trump was only concerned with "stoking fear in the American people."

"Devoid of any facts, the President continues to tout the lie that a wall is the only way to secure our border - it's not.

"In an era of advanced surveillance technologies and capabilities, a wall is laughably outdated. It's like saying we want Model T cars, glider planes, or rotary phones back.

"President Trump's focus should be on reopening the government as hundreds of thousands of federal workers are facing the grim reality that they won't be receiving a pay check this week," he said.

US Senator for Maryland Ben Cardin said the President was continuing to "peddle fear to sell his wall."

"Let's get back to facts and have real conversation about border security. We can start by reopening the Gov't so we can pay border patrol, customs agents, TSA agents and others who are on the front lines," he said.

The President had an ally in Senator for Georgia David Perdue who tweeted that Mr Trump "showed leadership" by speaking directly to the American people.

"The situation at our southern border is a national security crisis. We need a solution now," Mr Perdue said.


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