Nielsen says 35 million people watched Trump speech

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., pose for photographers after speaking on Capitol Hill in response President Donald Trump's address, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump speaks from the Oval Office of the White House as he gives a prime-time address about border security Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Washington. (Carlos Barria/Pool Photo via AP)

NEW YORK — An estimated 35.3 million people saw President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders speak to the nation on border security and the partial government shutdown.

That's about 10 million fewer viewers than Trump had for his 2018 State of the Union address. The Nielsen company said Wednesday it was similar to President Barack Obama's 2014 presidential address on fighting the Islamic state, which was seen by 34 million people.

There was some internal debate at networks about whether to grant Trump the TV time for Tuesday's speech, but 11 separate networks aired it.

Fox News Channel with 8.044 million viewers and CBS with 8.043 million were in a virtual dead heat as the top destination. NBC was third with 7 million, followed by ABC, MSNBC, CNN and Fox broadcasting.

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