New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman claimed Tuesday that President Donald Trump didn’t want to give an Oval Office speech on immigration and doesn’t want to visit the southern border.
She said on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” that Trump looked unnatural and uncomfortable without an actual audience in the room when he gave his address. (RELATED: Major Journalists Pan Trump’s Speech In Real Time)
“What I was struck by watching this speech is I had heard from several sources throughout the day the president was really not that into doing this speech,” Haberman said.
“A lot of his advisers were. A lot of his friends on Capitol Hill thought he should do this,” she added. “There is a reason he hasn’t done an address like this in the course of the last two years and it’s because he hasn’t wanted to. And I think you saw tonight why he hasn’t wanted to. It’s just not a natural setting for him and we didn’t hear a whole lot new.”
She also wrote about Trump’s motivations in a Tuesday New York Times piece and said several officials in his administration were pushing him to visit the border.
“‘It’s not going to change a damn thing, but I’m still doing it,’ Mr. Trump said of the border visit, according to one of the people, who was in the room,” Haberman wrote. “The trip was merely a photo opportunity, he said. ‘But,’ he added, gesturing at his communications aides Bill Shine, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, ‘these people behind you say it’s worth it.'”
Haberman said Republicans believe they’re up against the clock with the government shutdown and are losing the battle against congressional Democrats and tweeted that Trump believes a border visit would be a waste of time.
Trump didn’t want to give the speech tonight and told TV anchors at lunch today that his planned trip to the border is a waste of time. https://t.co/GFnpFnH8Tt
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 9, 2019
“They are privately well aware that they are running out of time,” she said on CNN. “We are on the verge of people missing their paychecks. They know that the tide’s going to turn. And it’s turning already but it’s going to move much faster after that happens. They are aware and they are hearing from moderate Republicans on the Hill that they are losing this battle. And so this was essentially a Hail Mary.”
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