Trump Still Undecided On Declaring Emergency To Build Border Wall

People walk on the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border barrier at the Pacific Ocean on Jan. 8 2019 in Tijuana Mexico

The partial government shutdown reached its 18th day, making the closure the second-longest in history.

Following Trump's immigration address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are slated to offer their rebuttal.

But outside Washington, the border wall and Trump's border immigration policies remain largely popular with his core supporters, a group he will need to energize in order to win re-election. Vice President Mike Pence met privately with House Republicans, urging them to "stand strong" and insisting the White House wants to negotiate, according to people familiar with the conversation. "We had collectively, politically as a country said, 'We're not going to address this". Successful presidential campaigns now rely on turning out the party's base, Spicer argued, and from that perspective staging a shutdown over border security could be viewed as a worthwhile political risk.

Schumer noted that Trump had promised to have Mexico pay for the wall.

Trump is delivering his first Oval Office address Tuesday night, and then visiting the southern border on Thursday, as he tries to put pressure on resistant Democrats. The decision was followed by weeks of negotiations between the White House, Republicans and Democrats that have so far showed little progress. But the move would have sparked several legal challenges, and advisers in the White House were reportedly divided about whether to take that step. A border wall likely won't change this.

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"I'm Donald Trump and I approved this message", Trump said, as the ad wrapped while the words: "Paid for by Donald J. Trump for President". White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that he will use the visit to "meet with those on the front lines of the national security and humanitarian crisis".

"Nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally, and we know that our most vulnerable point of entry is at our southern border", Sanders said, giving the frequently quoted statistic from the Trump administration.

"Democrats are frustrated with Trump and are not inclined to give in to the false narratives he's creating about the crisis at the border", said Geoff Garin, a longtime Democratic pollster.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump should reopen the government, while talks continue.

There were other signs the administration is working to contain the fallout from the shutdown, which has furloughed 380,000 federal workers and forced an additional 420,000 to work without pay.

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