Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeFormer staffer accuses Jackson Lee of retaliation after rape claim O'Rourke blogs from road trip: 'Have been stuck lately. In and out of a funk' Beto O'Rourke: Border wall 'will ensure death' MORE (D-Texas) denounced President TrumpDonald John TrumpPentagon update to missile defense doctrine will explore space-base technologies, lasers to counter threats Giuliani: 'I never said there was no collusion' between the Trump campaign and Russia Former congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles MORE's prime-time speech on Tuesday night as an effort to "instill anxiety and paranoia" about the U.S.-Mexico border, which the potential 2020 presidential candidate called "one of the safest places" in the country.

O'Rourke, an El Paso, Texas, native who represented a congressional district near the border for three terms, posted a two-minute video late Tuesday that showed the southern border. He described the area as "peaceful" just hours after Trump delivered an Oval Office address aimed at building support for his proposed border wall.

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"By any measure the border is as safe as it’s ever been," O'Rourke said. "And the president using fear and anecdote to try to instill anxiety and paranoia to build the political will to construct this wall that would cost $30 billion and take private property and cause death and suffering … that was what we heard from the Oval Office."

"And we need to meet that fear with the truth, with our ambition, with the best traditions of this country," he added.

O'Rourke, who lost his Senate bid to unseat Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCongress can stop the war on science O'Rourke blogs from road trip: 'Have been stuck lately. In and out of a funk' Texas governor, top lawmakers tell Trump not to use hurricane relief funds to build border wall MORE (R-Texas) in November, is considered a potential Democratic presidential candidate for 2020. He has not yet indicated whether he will run.

Trump, in his first prime-time address from the Oval Office, delivered many of his typical talking points on immigration and the need to construct a wall along the southern border. He warned of criminals and drugs coming over the border, and blamed Democrats for refusing to cooperate.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiOvernight Health Care: Dem chair plans hearing on Medicare for all | Senate GOP talks drug prices with Trump health chief | PhRMA CEO hopeful Trump reverses course on controversial pricing proposal Centrist efforts to convince Trump to end shutdown falter On The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerCardi B expresses solidarity with federal workers not getting paid Government shutdown impasse is a leveraging crisis Overnight Health Care: Dem chair meets Trump health chief on drug prices | Trump officials sued over new Kentucky Medicaid work rules | Democrats vow to lift ban on federal funds for abortions MORE (D-N.Y.) responded by saying Trump's statements were misleading, and calling on him to reopen the government.

The president's desire for more than $5 billion in funding for the wall triggered a partial government shutdown that has entered its 19th day. Trump is scheduled to meet with congressional leaders on Wednesday, though no breakthrough appears imminent.