When President Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office on Tuesday evening, it will be the first time he’s done so since he took office in 2017 — and only the fourth such address this decade.
On Tuesday, Trump is expected to speak about the ongoing government shutdown and make his case for building a wall on the US/Mexican border. Trump says he will not sign any bill that fully funds the government unless it provides $5 billion toward building a steel barrier on the border.
Trump claims his wall will discourage migrants from making the dangerous journey into the United States and will protect the country from terrorism. However, critics point out that illegal immigration through Mexico has decreased in the past decade and that vast majority of criminals who carry out terrorist threats since Sept. 11, 2001 have been born and raised in the United States or are legal residents .
Throughout his time in office, Trump has preferred to deliver his political messages on the campaign trail, attending rallies for fellow politicians or holding his own.
Reports indicate that Trump considered holding an Oval Office Address in late 2017 to push for his tax reform bill, but decided to save such an address for a more meaningful moment.
President Barack Obama delivered Oval Office addresses three times while in office, the last coming in 2015. Here's what he spoke about during those speeches:
Dec. 6, 2015 — Days after a couple committing allegiance to ISIS killed 14 people at an office Christmas party in San Bernardino, California, President Obama spoke about the threat of terrorism and how his administration planned to defeat ISIS and other extremist groups.
The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it. We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us. Our success won’t depend on tough talk, or abandoning our values, or giving into fear. That’s what groups like ISIL are hoping for. Instead, we will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless, and by drawing upon every aspect of American power.
Aug. 31, 2010 — President Obama addressed the nation to announce the end of the War in Iraq. He laid out the plan to withdraw the few remaining troops involved in "Operation Iraqi Freedom" and announced a new focus: One that would "advise and assist" Iraq's security forces.
Ending this war is not only in Iraq’s interest -- it’s in our own. The United States has paid a huge price to put the future of Iraq in the hands of its people. We have sent our young men and women to make enormous sacrifices in Iraq, and spent vast resources abroad at a time of tight budgets at home. We’ve persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people -- a belief that out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility. Now, it’s time to turn the page.
June 15, 2010 — In the midst of the clean-up efforts following the explosion of the BP oil well "Deep Water Horizon," President Obama addressed the nation on the progress of the efforts and how the spill would impact the economy of the Gulf Shore.
Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it’s not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years. But make no mistake: We will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long as it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.