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Preparing for All the Lies Donald Trump’s Likely to Say on Television Tonight


donald trump, border wall, security, shutdown, tv, television, address, oval office

Donald Trump tweeted Monday afternoon that he planned to give a televised address regarding the “Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border.”

For a few brief hours, there seemed to be some question as to whether the major networks would grant him the airtime to do so, or whether they might at least air his speech on a delay so they could fact-check his statements. Some journalists have reportedly called on the White House to release the text of the planned speech in advance for that same reason. But no. Predictably, all the major networks–ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, Fox, MSNBC and CNN–are planning to air Trump’s speech live tonight at 9pm Eastern, with no advance knowledge of what he will say.

Televised addresses from the Oval Office are usually reserved for historic moments. George W. Bush gave an Oval Office address on September 11, 2001. Eisenhower and JFK addressed desegregating American schools. Barack Obama used it to address the Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. And while it may seem like a given that if the President wants to address the nation, the networks have to let him, that’s not always the case. In 2014, President Obama was denied airtime for a speech on immigration because it was deemed too partisan.

But now Trump wants to talk about a shutdown he created over an issue that he’s repeatedly lied about, and the networks are just going to let him.

Donald Trump does not tell the truth when he talks about border security. He lies about the Democrats’ views on immigration, claiming that they want “open borders,” when in reality, they just don’t believe a wall would fix the issues Trump rails against. Trump lies when he says a wall would rid America of undocumented immigrants, since the vast majority of those immigrants are overstaying visas, not sneaking across borders. The same goes for Trump and, recently, Mike Pence’s claims that a wall would stop a flow of drugs from the southern border, which it would not.

Similarly, Pence claimed that 4,000 “known or suspected terrorists” were caught trying to enter the country and that a wall would have stopped them. But of those 4,000, only 12 were apprehended at the southern border. The vast majority enter through air travel. (Too bad, then, that Trump’s shutdown causes a huge threat to air safety.)

The wall is symbolic more than anything else, and when Trump says otherwise, he’s lying.

Trump also lies about who supports the wall. He claims that a lot of furloughed government worker support him (there’s no evidence of that), as do most Americans (polling suggests that is very false). He also says that some past U.S. presidents support him, and maybe he’s been talking to the ghost of Ronald Reagan, because all four living presidents say that’s not true.

Those aren’t even all the lies Trump’s said, and is likely to say again tonight when networks give him a platform for his propaganda. As we all know, there’s nothing more important to Trump than ratings, not tuning in sounds like a pretty great option.

If you want to watch people talk rationally about border security and the government shutdown, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are planning to give a response from the Democratic Party sometime following Trump’s speech.

(image: Chris Kleponis – Pool/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.