President Donald Trump, in a prime-time television address Tuesday night from the Oval Office, made his case for a wall and strengthened security at the U.S.-Mexico border in graphic fashion, highlighting multiple grisly examples of Americans allegedly murdered by illegal immigrants.
Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, and Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, immediately responded to Trump's harrowing remarks, denouncing his dark language and again calling for the government to reopen.
The dueling addresses amounted to little more than high-stakes theater, with each side repeating their firm stances on the shutdown. Trump did not declare a national emergency, as had been speculated he might, while the Democratic leaders repeated their push to re-open the government without funding for a border wall. Instead, it looked like the partial government shutdown, already nearly three weeks long, was going to drag on for a while longer.
Trump tried to make his case with a calm delivery that started with his description of a "humanitarian crisis" that has put children at risk, but eventually took a dark turn. The latter part of Trump's speech included detailed depictions of killings allegedly perpetrated by illegal immigrants, which he has previously brought up in much more raucous campaign rallies.
"In California, an Air Force veteran was raped, murdered, and beaten to death with a hammer by an illegal alien with a long criminal history," Trump said in his first-ever Oval Office address to the American people.