President Donald Trump invited representatives from broadcast and cable news outlets to lunch in the White House, just before his prime-time address from the Oval Office later in the evening.
According to The New York Times, Trump had extended the invitation ahead of his address on the border wall and the current partial government shutdown.
The invitation to the Roosevelt Room from the President comes after several networks, including ABC, NBC, CBS, and MSNBC, deliberated for hours on Monday afternoon about whether to broadcast the Oval Office address.
All the major broadcast and cable networks ended up agreeing to air the speech.
The networks went ahead despite apprehension made privately by some executives that the President will use the free airtime to overtly push a political agenda around wall funding, which is the sticking point in the government shutdown.
The White House informed the networks on Monday the speech will last no longer than eight minutes.
Democrats also requested equal time to respond, which was granted. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will provide the Democratic rebuttal.
The lunch invitation is not uncommon before consequential addresses made by the President. In the past, presidents of both parties have invited television anchors to meet at the White House before the State of the Union.