Trump says he’ll offer message of unity in State of the Union

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President Trump said he will offer a message of unity to a divided nation Tuesday night during his first State of the Union address. 

“I want to see our country united,” Trump said during a pre-speech lunch with network news anchors. “If I could unite the country, I would consider it a tremendous success.”

The president added that he would like to bring the country together “without a major event,” like a terror attack or natural disaster. 

Trump’s speech comes amid a series of controversies over tensions between the president and the Justice Department over the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election an any potential collusion with Trump’s campaign. 

The president said the rampant polarization in the U.S. traces back to the impeachment of President Clinton.

“Tremendous divisiveness, not just over the past year,” he said.

The speech also comes ahead of a midterm election year that has been marked by intense partisan fighting and a political environment that favors Democrats.

But Trump is signaling he will use his speech to reach beyond his core supporters by calming some of the heated rhetoric he has used during his first year in office. 

Administration officials say he plans to take credit for the roaring economy while pushing Congress to take bipartisan action on immigration. 

He will also outline his plan to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges and transit systems, an initiative that could attract Democratic support, as well as push his agenda on trade. 

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump SOTU 2018 State of the Union state of the union 2018 Unity

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