Washington, Jan 10 (PTI) US President Donald Trump’s first prime-time Oval Office address, a nine-minute speech on border security and the government shutdown, drew roughly 40 million television viewers, according to a media report. Also Read - US House of Representatives Passes Landmark Bill Legalising Marijuana in Federal Level

Trump on Wednesday asked the Democrats to allocate a whopping USD 5.7 billion funding for his controversial US-Mexico border wall plan to halt a “growing humanitarian and security crisis”. Also Read - 'Odour in The Court': Trump's Lawyer Rudy Giuliani Farts During Michigan Voter Fraud Hearing | Watch

Trump’s remarks during in his maiden prime-time address to the nation from the Oval Office came amid a partial government shutdown that is days away from becoming the longest in US history. Also Read - US Judge Strikes Down Trump's H1-B Rules on Higher Wage, Added Curbs

The speech itself made little news, and critics questioned why network executives had agreed to grant Trump such a large platform. Executives said they believed that the government shutdown, and its adverse affects on millions of Americans, were inherently newsworthy, The New York Times reported.

His speech fell short of his State of the Union address in 2018, which drew about 45.6 million viewers, and past landmark presidential moments, like former president Barack Obama’s announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011, which reached 56.5 million people, the report said.

The building of a wall along the Mexican border was central to Trump’s presidential campaign to prevent the entry of illegal immigrants.

Democrats and some Republicans have rejected Trump’s demand for the controversial US-Mexico border wall.

The viewers included nearly 16 million across the three big cable news channels — Fox News, CNN and MSNBC — a major jump in their usual weeknight audience, the report quoted statistics released by Nielsen, a leading global information and measurement company.

The rest 24 million watched special bulletins on major broadcast networks.

The Nielsen measurement, however, does not include Americans who watched online livestreams of Trump’s remarks.

It was the President’s first formal Oval Office address and he thanked supporters afterward on Twitter “for soooo many nice comments”.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.