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Trump Appears at Surprise White House Briefing

The subject: border wall
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2019 3:43 PM CST
Updated Jan 3, 2019 5:03 PM CST
President Donald Trump walks into the press briefing at the White House, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced a surprise briefing Thursday, giving just five minutes notice before it began, Mediaite reports. President Trump himself opened the briefing after Sanders introduced him, CNN reports. Two New York Times writers noted on Twitter that while the POTUS once "stuck his head in" to the briefing room to answer a question or two, this is his first time at the podium. Trump himself pointed out that fact as he finished speaking, adding that it was his first time and "I've done it for you, and I'm very proud of that." He left without taking questions. The briefing was about Trump's desired border wall, with Trump bringing out Border Patrol union representatives to talk about why the wall is necessary and will be effective.

But, as CBS News reports, Trump "offered little new information" as he made his first public comments since Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, and gave no clues as to how he plans to fund the wall. He said the meeting with Border Patrol representatives had been long planned, and since it "came at a very opportune time, ... I said let's go out and see the press you can tell them the importance of the wall." CBS notes the "chaos" that ensued when the briefing was announced, with many seats in the room left empty as the press corps was caught off-guard. CNN says the whole thing was a "statement," not an actual "briefing," since no questions were taken. (Trump also opened the briefing by congratulating Nancy Pelosi.)

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