After reportedly asking aides over the weekend to devise a solution to the shutdown that doesn’t appear like a surrender to Democrats, President Donald Trump has planned a prime-time address to the nation to discuss the government shutdown before he heads to the Mexico border Thursday. “I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern.” Earlier Monday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced on Twitter that Trump will visit the southern border “to meet with those on the frontlines of the national security and humanitarian crisis.” Sanders did not specify where on the border Trump intends to visit or what he plans to do when he arrives or what the supposed national-security crisis was, but noted that “More details will be announced soon.”
The New York Times reports that Thursday will be the 20th day of the shutdown, which has left nearly 800,000 federal workers without paychecks. The visit comes as the U.S. border with Mexico remains a flashpoint in shutdown negotiations. Trump continues to insist publicly that he will not approve a spending bill that does not include funding for a border wall, and has debated declaring a national emergency if he doesn’t get the funding he desires.