Nielsen reveals how many people watched President Trump's primetime address

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It's Day 17 of the US government shutdown, with Donald Trump refusing to budge on his demand of $5.7 billion to build his border wall, and about to make a prime-time address on the subject on Tuesday. MSNBC hosts Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow were already pre-fact checking the president, offering corrections to claims they expected him to make and offered liberal-friendly speculation about how the shutdown might end.

While the address may not change anyone's mind, there are very strong feelings both for and against the television networks' decisions to televise it in the first place.

While networks air presidential addresses when the topic is of national importance, they're not required to do so.

Nearly twice as many people tuned into Fox News as they did other cable networks to watch President Donald Trump's address to the nation from the Oval Office on Tuesday.

"All the major networks covered his speech live, and for good reason", Jimmy Kimmel began. NBC was third with 7 million, followed by ABC, MSNBC, CNN and Fox broadcasting.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the president has "chosen fear" in making the case to the American people for the border wall and Democrats "want to start with the facts".

Earlier Tuesday, CNN's Jim Acosta had confronted Trump aide Kellyanne Conway outside of the White House, asking if she could promise whether Trump would tell the truth.

"The president made no news and no new proposals", he said.

Top news personalities including CNN's Chris Cuomo, Fox News Channel's Bret Baier and ABC's George Stephanopoulos attended the lunch, which lasted about an hour and 20 minutes. "But that was a bipartisan announcement, and this is an overtly political move by the White House".

"They hope that'll hurt [Trump] in 2020", he said. No other basic cable network surpassed the 2 million average viewership plateau, with ESPN averaging 1.9 million primetime viewers to finish second. The two Democrats were also stymied by peculiar production decisions; hemmed in side-by-side behind a narrow podium in the U.S. Capitol building, the two veteran politicians looked like a Grant Wood painting come to life, "American Gothic" wrapped up in the stars and stripes.