WASHINGTON (AP)– Leading congressional Democrats said President Donald Trump “has actually chosen fear” in his drive to build a southern border wall and called on him to reopen the federal government shuttered because of the standoff over his need for money for the barrier.

Speaking moments after Trump made his case for the wall in an Oval Workplace address Tuesday night, Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a national tv audience that the president’s rhetoric has actually been “filled with false information and even malice.”

Standing along with her, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said America’s symbol “must be the Statute of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall.” He implicated Trump of attempting to “stoke worry and divert attention” from his tumultuous administration.

The White House countered Wednesday by implicating Democrats of remaining in rejection about unsafe activity occurring at the border, which Trump says would be warded off by the building and construction of a wall.

” He’s fighting for the protection and the security of every American citizen,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated on Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Pals.” ″ And the reality that the Democrats want to continue to reside in denial and pretend that things that are discovering this border that bring damage to people in this country aren’t happening is honestly unfortunate, it’s absurd, and I believe you saw that on full display last night in their reaction to the president.”

She included: “If this is the face and the future of the Democrat celebration I believe things are looking truly helpful for Republican politicians.”

The Democrats’ prime-time remarks amounted to a launching for the freshly empowered opposition. Less than a week after Democrats officially took control of your home, Pelosi and Schumer stood side by side at a lectern in a look created to highlight their party’s unity.

They spoke after Trump warned of a “growing humanitarian and security crisis” at the border with Mexico. He said it was “unethical” for political leaders “to do absolutely nothing and continue to allow more innocent people to be so badly taken advantage of” by the drugs and wrongdoers he claims are streaming across the boundary.

Trump and the Democrats have been dueling throughout a partial government shutdown over his demands for– and their opposition to– $5.7 billion to begin building a border wall. Some 800,000 federal employees are working without pay or have been furloughed at dozens of federal departments and companies, and each side is blaming the other for the closure, which remained in its 19th day on Wednesday.

The longest shutdown ever was 21 days that extended from December 1995 into January 1996.

Polls have shown that Trump’s proposed wall and the shutdown fight have actually played well with his die-hard conservative advocates but badly with the basic public. The wall was one of Trump’s highest-profile project promises, and his efficiency on that problem could have a major effect on his 2020 re-election effort, while Democrats have made opposition to the proposition a foundation goal.

On the 2016 campaign path, Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, but Mexico has actually refused to do that.

Pelosi, D-Calif., stated Trump required the shutdown due to “his fascination” with a costly, ineffective wall, which she recently called “unethical.”

” President Trump must stop holding the American individuals hostage, should stop making a crisis and must resume the federal government,” she stated.

” The majority of presidents have actually utilized Oval Office addresses for noble purposes,” stated Schumer, D-N.Y. “This president just utilized the background of the Oval Workplace to make a crisis.”

The Democrats’ remarks lasted simply over 4 minutes, compared with more than 9 minutes for Trump.

Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, a prospective 2020 Democratic presidential competitor, provided his own action on social networks. He stated Trump “lies all the time,” mentioning the president’s assertions that Mexico would pay for the wall and his claims about the number of terrorists and amount of illegal drugs streaming throughout the border.

Sanders stated real emergency situations facing the U.S. consist of the variety of people who stay without adequate health care protection, college costs that are unaffordable for lots of and global warming.

” Mr. President, we don’t need to produce synthetic crises,” he said. “We have enough real ones.”

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Associated Press author Darlene Superville added to this report.

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For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. federal government shutdown: https://apnews.com/GovernmentShutdown

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