Trump is reportedly frustrated with his staff for not defending his border wall on TV
Associated Press/Evan Vucci
- President Donald Trump is irritated that his demand for a wall along the US-Mexico border is not being adequately defended on television by White House aides, according to Politico.
- Despite White House aides showing Trump video footage of surrogates making media appearances in defense of his policies, the president has brooded over the purported lack of appearances.
- Trump's upcoming address follows a string of other freewheeling media appearances in recent days.
As the partial government shutdown nears its 18th day, President Donald Trump is reportedly irritated that his demand for a wall along the US-Mexico border is not being adequately defended on television by White House aides, according to a Monday Politico report.
Three people familiar with the situation told Politico that Trump believes that too few administration officials were making media appearances after his policies, including his decision to pull US ground forces out of Syria, sparked outcry from critics.
Trump also reportedly complained that his surrogates were not defending his demand for Congress to fund his border wall, which has opposition in Congress. The president remained adamant he would not sign any short-term funding bill that did not include funding for his wall - despite a bipartisan group of House members passing two bills last week that would extend funding and buy Congress more time.
House Democrats, who took control of the majority in January, in turn stood their ground and rejected any plans for a border wall, but have signaled the legislative body is willing to fund other border security projects.
"We're not doing a wall," Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi said Thursday, January 3. "Does anybody have any doubt? We are not doing a wall."
Despite White House aides showing Trump video footage of surrogates making media appearances in defense of his policies, the president has brooded over the purported lack of showings from his current staff, Politico reported. Trump has reportedly urged former staffers like campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and deputy campaign manager David Bossie, both regulars on Fox News, to continue making appearances.
Trump is expected to discuss a "National Security crisis on our Southern Border [sic]" during his primetime address 9:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday evening. The televised speech, which numerous cable-news networks agreed to air, prompted Democrats to call for "equal airtime" to counter Trump's "malice and misinformation."
Trump's upcoming address follows a string of other freewheeling media appearances in recent days, including the wide-ranging cabinet meeting that included an altered "Game of Thrones" poster; and his surprise, first appearance at the White House press briefing room.
Last Thursday, Trump claimed he had strong support for the wall.
"I have never had so much support as I have in the last week over my stance for border security, for border control, and for frankly, the wall or the barrier," Trump said to reporters in the White House's press briefing room. "I have never had anything like it in terms of calls coming in, in terms of people writing in, and tweeting and doing whatever they have to do."