US President Donald Trump has invoked an Indian American "hero" police officer killed by an illegal immigrant to make an appeal to the American people to pressure legislators to fund the border wall he wants and end the government shutdown.
One day after saying the shutdown could be resolved with a "45-minute meeting", Trump sat down with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in the White House Situation Room.
When it was over, the only thing that all parties seemed to agree on was the president's assessment that the meeting had been "a total waste of time".
Trump nonetheless used the address to stoke fears around immigrants, prompting top Democrats to accuse him of peddling "misinformation and even malice" in a rebuttal of their own that aired immediately after the president's remarks.
"Well, unfortunately the president just got up and walked out". We don't govern by temper tantrum. Farmers and small businesses won't get loans they desperately need.
"My fellow Americans, today I am speaking to you because there is a growing "humanitarian and security crisis" in our southern border".
As almost 800,000 federal workers still go without pay, the president remained at an impasse with congressional Democrats as he prepared to head to Capitol Hill to huddle with members of his own party behind closed doors on Wednesday.
Government shutdown could hinder speed of tax refund
While refunds may be delayed, if you owe the government money, you will still have to pay it on-time. File your tax return but don't count on having your refund any time soon.
The comments came on the 19th day of a partial government shutdown, which is centred on Trump's demand for $5.7bn in funding for the wall. Fifty-one per cent of adults surveyed between Jan 1 and Monday said Mr Trump "deserves most of the blame" for the shutdown, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.
Despite the softer tone, Trump also spent much of the speech doubling down on his controversial message - popular among his right-wing base - that illegal immigration at the US-Mexican border puts American lives in danger.
"These two. I don't know how many years Ryan and Kelly have left on their contract, but if Nancy and Chuck ever decide to team up... someone needs to get Gelman on the phone".
Trump, though, is expecting his new persona of a self-possessed politician turning attention to the drug problem and minorities' loss of jobs due illegal immigration would sway voters to call their legislators to support the wall. With Trump and the Democrats holding their ground, there's no telling when it'll end. "But all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration". "But that was a bipartisan announcement, and this is an overtly political move by the White House".
An October 2018 report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency detailed the prevalence and source of a number of drugs, including those Trump mentioned Tuesday - heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine.
He said Mr Trump needs to re-open government while allowing the debate over border security to continue.