President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Friday that he would “be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown” from the White House Saturday afternoon.
The unusual time for “a major announcement,” a Saturday afternoon, over a government shutdown that has already stretched four weeks since Dec. 22 — the longest in U.S. history — has pundits a-twitter over what he’s going to announce.
The time was later changed to 4 p.m.
As the hour approached, consensus seemed to point to the president offering concessions concerning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders.
The New York Times reported that Trump was expected to offer deportation reprieves in exchange for border wall funding.
CNN, citing an unnamed “senior administration official” said that “President Donald Trump plans to offer Democrats another proposal to end the shutdown when he addresses the nation from the White House on Saturday afternoon — what officials are describing as his third offer to end the shutdown.”
Axios reported that President Trump “plans to use remarks from the Diplomatic Reception Room on Saturday afternoon to propose a notable immigration compromise, according to sources familiar with the speech.”
Axios said the source told them Trump’s “offer is expected to still include his $5.7 billion demand for the wall but that it would come in exchange for the BRIDGE Act.”
This would extend protections for DACA. The site also suggested that his announcement would include “legislation to extend the legal status of TPS holders, according to a source with direct knowledge.”
The Associated Press also reported that Trump is “expected to announce that he is open to trading protections for young immigrants in exchange for money for his long-promised border wall,” citing three officials who spoke anonymously.
The AP reported that Vice President Mike Pence, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney “have been working ‘non-stop’ on the proposal, according to one of the people.”
The proposal would also include extend protections for those with Temporary Protected Status.
Earlier in the day, Fox News wasn’t clear on what the president will say, but did quote him reiterating his position that “”Walls work.”
He made the remark as he embarked on a trip to Dover Air Force base to meet with the families of soldiers killed in Syria on Wednesday. One of those killed was South Florida soldier Jonathan R. Farmer.
The Hill suggested Trump could make good on his threat to declare a national emergency and get his wall built without Congressional approval.
“Some people aligned with Trump never believed there was any real hope of getting congressional funding for the border wall. But they are also emphatic that the president cannot let down his base on such a signature issue,” the Hill reported.
“I just don’t think he has any alternative except to declare a national emergency,” Stephen Bannon, the president’s former chief strategist, told The Hill. “The Democrats have no intention, ever, of giving him a penny for the wall.”
And while President Trump was busy on Twitter Saturday morning, his feed hasn’t contained any major clues about his pending announcement.
Mostly, he’s lashed out at the media for running stories on the FBI investigation into whether he “colluded” with Russia to get elected — “.@newtgingrich just stated that there has been no president since Abraham Lincoln who has been treated worse or more unfairly by the media than your favorite President, me! At the same time there has been no president who has accomplished more in his first two years in office!”
And he once again reiterated his oft-given statement that “fake news is truly the ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE” and decried “the partisan witch hunt.”
He also blasted the Mexicans for “doing NOTHING to stop the Caravan which is now fully formed and headed to the United States.”
We’ll just have to wait until 4 p.m. to find out for sure.