Major networks will carry Democratic response to Trump immigration speech

Democratic leaders demanded equal time after the networks agreed to carry Trump's speech. So far, NBC, CNN and CBS agreed.
Image: Day 12 of the partial US government shutdown
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer leave the West Wing after a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House on Jan. 4, 2019.Shawn Thew / EPA

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By Allan Smith

Several major networks announced on Tuesday morning that they will air the Democratic response to President Donald Trump's prime-time Oval Office address on immigration.

The major broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC — will show the response, according to Variety, while on cable, MSNBC, CNN, Fox News and Fox Business will carry it. On Monday, the major networks said they would air the president's speech, prompting Democratic leaders to call for space to rebut him.

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"Now that the television networks have decided to air the President’s address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement on Monday.

Later, the pair announced in a statement that they would be the ones to deliver a formal response. Pelosi and Schumer will deliver the address from the Capitol after Trump's remarks.

The president's address and Democratic response comes as a partial government shutdown stretches into its third week. Trump has demanded more than $5 billion to build a wall along the U.S. southern border, while Democrats have insisted they will not provide Trump with any additional wall funding. Little progress has been made toward reaching an agreement.

In an interview with NBC News on Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence said the president will use his speech to "explain to the American people that we have a humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border."