Live coverage: Trump delivers his first State of the Union

Follow live updates throughout the night from President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE's inaugural State of the Union address. His speech is slated to begin after 9 p.m.


Trump makes case he’s stoking American dream


11:59 p.m.

President Trump used his sprawling address Tuesday night to call for bipartisan action on immigration and infrastructure while asking a deeply divided nation to come together after a tumultuous first year in office.

Read our wrap up from Trump's first State of the Union speech here.

Dem response to Trump's speech: 'This is not who we are'

11 p.m.

Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedySupreme Court confounding its partisan critics Warren says she'll run for reelection to Senate Five centrist Democrats oppose Pelosi for Speaker in tight vote MORE III (D-Mass.) offered an all-out rebuke of President Trump's first year in office, accusing the president of drastically reshaping the United States and exacerbating political divisions during the Democrats' response to Trump's first State of the Union.

"Many have spent the past year anxious, angry, afraid," Kennedy said in the Democratic rebuttal to Trump's address. "We all feel the fault lines of a fractured country. We hear the voices of Americans who feel forgotten and forsaken."


Kennedy's speech painted a starkly different image of Trump's leadership than the president delivered just minutes earlier.

"Hatred and supremacy proudly marching in our streets; bullets tearing through our classrooms, concerts and congregations, targeting our safest, sacred places," Kennedy said. "And this nagging, sinking feeling, no matter your political beliefs, that this is not right. This is not who we are."


Schumer: Trump's speech 'stoked the fires of division'

10:50 p.m.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats press Schumer on removing Confederate statues from Capitol Democrats' do-or-die moment Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan MORE (N.Y.) on Tuesday accused President Trump of having "stoked the fires of division" rather than uniting the country with his State of the Union address.

“After a long and divisive year, many Americans were yearning for the President to present a unifying vision for the country. Unfortunately, his address tonight stoked the fires of division instead of bringing us closer together," Schumer said in a statement.

Trump called for bipartisan action on infrastructure and immigration during his speech. But Democrats were visibly stone-faced for much of the speech and some booed and hissed when Trump talked about "chain migration" and changes to which family members citizens and legal residents can sponsor.

Trump also touted a "great wall" along the U.S.-Mexico border, a longtime nonstarter for congressional Democrats, and urged lawmakers to make changes to immigration law.

Trump acknowledges parents of Otto Warmbier

10:30 p.m. 

President Trump used his speech to spotlight the parents of American college student Otto Warmbier, who died when he was returned home after being detained in North Korea for 17 months. 

Warmbier’s parents, Fred and Cindy, were in the audience and received two standing ovations as they teared up. Trump also spotlighted Warmbier's siblings, Austin and Greta, during his speech.


“You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength truly inspires us all,” Trump said. “Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto's memory with total American resolve.”

Trump also highlighted audience member Ji Seong-ho, who defected from North Korea to South Korea in 2006. Ji lost his left hand and foot after he passed out on train tracks from hunger. He was later tortured in North Korea after he crossed the border into China to look for food.

North Korea 'could very soon threaten our homeland,' Trump says

10:25 p.m.

President Trump warned that North Korea could soon be able to strike the United States with a nuclear weapon.

“North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from ever happening," Trump said.


Trump took a more measured tone on North Korea than he has in the past, when he has warned of “fire and fury” if Pyongyang continues to threaten the United States.

Trump touts support for prison reform

10:15 p.m.

President Trump voiced support for prison reform during his first State of the Union address.

"As America regains its strength, this opportunity must be extended to all citizens," Trump said. "That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance."

Trump’s comments Tuesday — along with recent meetings with criminal justice reform advocates — signal the White House is supportive of a federal proposal to incentivize prison programs that reduce recidivism rates.

A source familiar with the talks between the White House and GOP members of Congress told The Hill earlier this month that a bipartisan prison-reform bill offered by Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock Poll shows tight GOP primary for Georgia governor MORE (R-Ga.) is expected to be marked up in the House Judiciary Committee before the first quarter ends in April.


Boos, hissing erupts as Trump mentions reforming 'chain migration'

10:03 p.m.

Hissing and some boos were audible in the House chamber when Trump began discussing reforms to "chain migration."

Trump and other conservatives have used the term to describe "family migration" and "family reunification visas," a system of visas allowing citizens and legal permanent residents to petition for the federal government to allow close relatives to immigrate to the U.S.

Trump has demanded an end to the system and it is one of the administration's four pillars for immigration talks, along with a permanent solution to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, border security and the diversity visa lottery program.

Trump promises that drug prices 'will come down'

9:51 p.m.

President Trump called lowering the price of prescription drugs one of his "greatest priorities."

Trump said that drugs in other countries are much cheaper than in the United States, and "that is why I have directed my administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down."

Trump has repeatedly said drug companies are "getting away with murder." A draft executive order on drug prices leaked last year, though it was never actually released, and outside experts said the draft was considered to be friendly toward the pharmaceutical industry. 

Trump pushes Congress to give agencies power to fire federal employees

9:40 p.m.

President Trump, who vowed to dramatically cut the size of the federal government, called upon Congress to give agencies the power to fire federal workers.

“All Americans deserve accountability and respect — and that is what we are giving them,” Trump said.

“So tonight, I call on the Congress to empower every Cabinet secretary with the authority to reward good workers and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people," he said. 

Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' MORE, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, told the federal agencies in a memo in April “to determine whether their current policies and practices are barriers to hiring and retaining the workforce necessary to execute their missions" and "if necessary, removing poor performers.”

Trump raises national anthem debate during State of the Union

9:35 p.m.

President Trump appeared to allude to his push for professional athletes to stand for the national anthem as he delivered his first State of the Union address.

The president applauded Preston Sharp, a young boy who has organized a campaign to place flags on soldiers' graves, saying that the boy's work was a reminder of why it's important to "stand for the national anthem."

"Preston's reverence for those who have served our nation reminds us of why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance and why we proudly stand for the national anthem," Trump said to applause.

Trump: Republicans repealed 'core' of ObamaCare

9:31 p.m.

President Trump touted the repeal of ObamaCare's individual mandate Tuesday, saying, "we repealed the core of disastrous ObamaCare."

The GOP tax bill repealed the mandate that most Americans pay a fee if they don't have health coverage. The legislation didn't touch any other parts of former President Obama's signature health-care law, such as its expansion of Medicaid, requirements that insurers cover a list of services and other consumer protections.

GOP congressional leaders have signaled a desire to move on this year from efforts to repeal ObamaCare. Republicans, who tried unsuccessfully to repeal the law last year, have a slimmer 51-49 seat majority in the Senate going into the midterm elections this year.

The Trump administration is also seeking to change the health-care law administratively.

Trump: State of the Union is strong 'because our people are strong'

9:25 p.m.

President Trump highlighted various economic successes during his tenure and touted the GOP tax legislation he signed into law in December in the opening portion of his remarks Tuesday, which focused on a number of challenges in his first year.

"Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success. We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined," Trump said in prepared remarks.

"We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship. We endured floods and fires and storms. But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America's soul, and the steel in America's spine," he continued. 

Trump made reference to last year's Las Vegas shooting massacre, wildfires in California as well as hurricanes that ravaged portions of Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

"Let us begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our union is strong because our people are strong," Trump said. "And together, we are building a safe, strong and proud America."

Dems give Trump a cold reception as he enters House chamber

9:10 p.m.

Democratic lawmakers avoided standing along the center aisle to shake Trump's hand as he entered the chamber, instead letting eager GOP lawmakers take up the usually coveted seats.

Many Democrats didn’t even bother clapping; those who did applauded half-heartedly and stopped well before their Republican colleagues. Virgin Islands Del. Stacey PlaskettStacey Plaskett20 years later: Washington policymakers remember 9/11 Plaskett slams GOP rep for saying Black Lives Matter 'doesn't like the old-fashioned family' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Ahead: One-shot vax, easing restrictions, fiscal help MORE (D) stood just feet away from Trump with her arms folded, unsmiling.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus sat down before Trump reached the dais, decidedly refraining from the welcoming applause.

Trump motorcade arrives at the Capitol

8:55 p.m.

President Trump has arrived at the Capitol to deliver his first State of the Union address.

Breaking with modern tradition, the president and first lady arrived separately at the Capitol.

A spokeswoman for first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpFormer aide sees Melania Trump as 'the doomed French queen': book If another 9/11 happened in a divided 2021, could national unity be achieved again? Former Trump aide Stephanie Grisham planning book: report MORE told CNN that she traveled to the Capitol with her guests attending the address and would co-host a meet-and-greet with second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceMcCarthy, Ducey speak at Pence fundraiser: report Jill Biden takes starring role at difficult Olympics Pence refused to leave Capitol during riot: book MORE.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also said Melania Trump traveled separately for "no reason other than she can greet the guests and he can go straight in,” CNN’s Jim Acosta reported.

CBC members wearing African kente cloth to speech

8:45 p.m.

More than two dozen Democrats, mostly members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), are wearing African kente cloth to Trump's speech.

The display comes after Trump reportedly described Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations in vulgar terms during an Oval Office meeting on immigration policy earlier this month.

Pence, McConnell head toward House chamber for speech

8:36 p.m.

Vice President Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellWe don't need platinum to solve the debt ceiling crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble House passes standalone bill to provide B for Israel's Iron Dome MORE (R-Ky.) are leading senators over to the House chamber for Trump's speech.

Senators lined up on the Senate floor before departing together as a group.

Several senators were spotted walking over to the speech with a senator from the other party, including Sens. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzPanic begins to creep into Democratic talks on Biden agenda Hotel workers need a lifeline; It's time to pass The Save Hotel Jobs Act Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Scientists potty train cows to cut pollution MORE (D-Hawaii) and John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) as well as Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntRoy Blunt has helped forge and fortify the shared bonds between Australia and America The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks Congress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B MORE (R-Mo.).

Women's rights group projects image on Trump hotel before speech

8:12 p.m. 

A women's rights activist group protested President Trump's speech Tuesday night by projecting images on his hotel in Washington, D.C., drawing attention to allegations of sexual misconduct.

The images from the group UltraViolet called on Congress to "investigate Trump" for the allegations, many of which surfaced before the election and that he has denied.

"In this moment of intense public scrutiny around sexual misconduct, Congress must act to hold Trump accountable," the group said in a statement on its website.

Dems slam Trump, tout boycott of speech

7:50 p.m.

A number of Democratic lawmakers have taken to social media or television to blast President Trump ahead of his first State of the Union speech on Tuesday night.

Rep. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenBiden to raise refugee cap to 125,000 in October Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally Spotlight turns to GOP's McCarthy in Jan. 6 probe MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted a picture of herself clapping with a pair of tiny hands ahead of the president's address.

Several lawmakers have posted photos of themselves with guests who are recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Trump has moved to wind down. Others have blasted Trump over his recent criticism of certain FBI officials.
"He's a bully, he's mean, and he doesn't respect the institutions. He's made fun of the FBI, he's gone after judges. I think to normalize this president is wrong," Rep. Jan SchakowskyJanice (Jan) Danoff SchakowskyDemocrats seek to cool simmering tensions American workers need us to get this pandemic under control around the world Democrats repeal prohibition on funding abortions abroad MORE (D-Ill.) said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."
Schakowsky is among more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers who have announced they will skip Trump's speech Tuesday night.
"For me, it just felt wrong," she said, describing a scene of Trump glad-handing lawmakers. "I could not be part of that."
Trump will call for 'new American moment'

6:59 p.m.

President Trump will declare a “new American moment” during his State of the Union address and call on Republicans and Democrats to work together to tackle the nation’s biggest problems. 

“This is our new American moment,” Trump plans to say, according to excerpts released by the White House. “There has never been a better time to start living the American dream.”

Trump plans during his speech to call on lawmakers to pass bipartisan fixes on immigration and start work on a massive infrastructure proposal.

This year’s ‘designated survivor’: Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueSonny PerdueOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court rules that pipeline can seize land from New Jersey | Study: EPA underestimated methane emissions from oil and gas development | Kevin McCarthy sets up task forces on climate, other issues The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Georgia election day is finally here; Trump hopes Pence 'comes through for us' to overturn results Civil war between MAGA, GOP establishment could hand Dems total control MORE

6:47 p.m.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will serve as the administration’s “designated survivor” for Trump’s speech Tuesday, the White House announced.

The last Agriculture secretary to serve as the designated survivor was Tom VilsackTom VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE in 2012. Other departments whose heads have been named for the role in recent years include Veterans Affairs, Energy, Transportation and Homeland Security.

One Cabinet member is typically chosen to not attend a State of the Union or presidential address to a joint session of Congress as a precaution for an incident like an attack on Congress. Perdue will not be present for the address Tuesday night and will instead spend it in a secure location. 

Sanders bringing 'Dreamer' to Trump's speech

6:28 p.m.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDon't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs MORE (I-Vt.) is bringing a recipient of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to Trump’s speech Tuesday night.

Luis Alcauter, a so-called Dreamer who worked on Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign, will be the senator's guest for the speech, Sanders's office announced.

"Luis is not a statistic or a number. He is certainly not a bargaining chip in budget negotiations. He is a real flesh and blood human being, along with 800,000 other young people, who deserves our support," Sanders said in a statement.

Several Democrats and at least one Republican, Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloNation's fraught politics leads to fear, scars and exits Direct air capture is a crucial bipartisan climate policy Biden's corporate tax hike is bad for growth — try a carbon tax instead MORE (Fla.), are bringing DACA recipients to Trump’s speech on Tuesday to highlight efforts to reach an immigration deal ahead of a March deadline Trump offered when announcing he would end the program.

Sanders is also among several vocal Trump critics who is set to deliver a response to the State of the Union on Tuesday night, joining Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Arizona recount to show Trump's loss by even wider margin Biden criticizes treatment of Haitians as 'embarrassment' The Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), who will be delivering the party's official response.

Trump set for first State of the Union speech

6 p.m.

Interest is mounting with President Trump poised to deliver his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, where he is expected to take a victory lap on the economy and pitch an infrastructure plan to lawmakers.

The formal address comes amid high drama in Congress over efforts to protect young immigrants from deportation — a debate that spurred the recent three-day government shutdown — as well as against the backdrop of escalating Russia probes.

Tuesday’s prime-time address is Trump’s first State of the Union, though he did speak before a joint session of Congress last year.

– Jesse Byrnes, Jordan Fabian, Jordain Carney, Cristina Marcos, Rachel Roubein, Max Greenwood, Lydia Wheeler and Rebecca Kheel contributed.