Schumer: Trump speech 'less important' that past presidents' addresses
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerFacebook reeling after damning NYT report Schumer warns Trump to stay out of government funding negotiations Schumer predicts Nelson will 'continue being senator' if 'every vote counted' MORE (D-N.Y.) took an early shot at President Trump's Tuesday speech to Congress, arguing it will be "less important" than previous presidential addresses.

"Tonight's speech from the president will be far less important than past presidential addresses for one very simple reason: This president has shown ... that there is a yawning gap between what he says and what his administration actually does for working Americans," he said.

He added while Trump campaigns and talks "like a populist" that he "governs like a pro-corporate, pro-elite, hard-right ideologue."


Democrats have spent the week "prebutting" Trump's speech to a joint session of Congress Tuesday evening, which is expected to focus on the "renewal of the American spirit."

Congressional leaders are trading fire as they try to spin ahead of Trump's address. Though it's not billed as a State of the Union, the president's speech is expected to lay out major policy goals. 

Both Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenators introduce Trump-backed criminal justice bill On The Money: Senior GOP senator warns Trump against shutdown | Treasury sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | HQ2 deal brings new scrutiny on Amazon | Senate confirms Bowman to Fed board Senior GOP senator warns Trump against partial shutdown MORE and Sen. John CornynJohn CornynCongress should ban life without parole sentences for children  Senate GOP discussing Mueller vote Grassley: McConnell owes me for judicial nominations MORE (R-Texas) took to the Senate floor to predict Trump will deliver a positive, forward-looking message. 

"In November, the American people elected a new president who offered a new direction. He’ll now have an opportunity to talk about how we can make that change," McConnell said. 

But Schumer countered that Trump is breaking his promise on "draining the swamp."

"He’s spent his first month in office appointing bankers and billionaires and titans of Wall Street to fill his administration," he said. "That’s the swamp. He’s not cleaning it. It’s getting worse."