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The US president's address came as a way to inform his fellow Americans about the ongoing partial government shutdown, which is now into its 18th day, and to increase people's pressure on the opposition Democrats.

Mr Trump said an as-yet-unratified revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement would pay for the wall, a claim previously disputed by economists. The impasse doesn't look likely to end soon. Tax refunds that many Americans rely on may be delayed. However, he claimed that the leader may make a strong case for the Congress to fund the construction of a steel barrier along the southern border. Farmers and small businesses won't get loans they desperately need. With Trump and the Democrats holding their ground, there's no telling when it'll end.

In an eight-minute address on Tuesday night carried live by all the major United States television networks, Mr Trump said the federal government remained shut because of the Democrats.

"More Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War", he said.

"Government statistics show that there is less violent crime by the undocumented immigrant population than by the general population."

But some Republicans, including Senator John Thun, have indicated in recent days that there is growing concern about the toll the shutdown is taking on everyday Americans, including disruptions in payments to farmers and trouble for home buyers who are seeking government-backed mortgage loans - "serious stuff".

For the entire 9-9:30 p.m. ET window, which included the response from Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Fox News averaged just over 8 million viewers, while MSNBC bringing in 4.2 million and CNN with 3.6 million.

This includes their efforts to fix the administration's abhorrent child separation policy, understand what led to almost two dozen immigrants dying in ICE detention since Trump took office, come up with a solution to the administration's ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and more.

"The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only because Democrats will not fund border security", he alleged.

Vice President Mike Pence and Republican leaders challenged some of Schumer's version of events, denying that Trump also slammed his hand on a table or raised his voice.

Pelosi noted that Trump had rejected bipartisan legislation to reopen the government agencies shuttered as a result of the fight over the wall. Donald Trump is the only person who doesn't agree with that notion. But she said there was "no way" the shutdown fight would drag on for years as Trump warned last week.

The national opinion poll, which ran from January 1 to January 7, found that 51 percent of adults believe Trump "deserves most of the blame" for the shutdown.

Schumer said Trump "just used the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration".


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