President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Biden's Supreme Court reform study panel notes 'considerable' risks to court expansion Bennie Thompson not ruling out subpoenaing Trump MORE delivered his second State of the Union address Tuesday night at a time when his administration is dealing with new political obstacles.
Coming after the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, Trump hoped to shore up support among an increasingly divided GOP and get his presidency back on track as he faces a newly emboldened Democratic Party.
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCongress is hell-bent on a spooky spending spree Pelosi on addressing climate through reconciliation package: 'This is our moment' House progressives lay out priorities for spending negotiations MORE (D-Calif.) panned the president's State of the Union address, noting that for all his warnings about threats against the country, he did not discuss gun violence.
"It will take days to fact-check all the misrepresentations that the President made tonight," Pelosi said in a statement after Trump's speech. "Instead of fear-mongering and manufacturing a crisis at the border, President Trump should commit to signing the bipartisan conference committee’s bill to keep government open and provide strong, smart border security solutions.
“Sadly, while talking about perceived threats to the safety of the American people, he completely ignored the gun violence epidemic that is claiming lives across the country," she added.
The president did not discuss gun violence or mass shootings during his roughly 80-minute speech. He did reference last October's shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh that left 11 people dead, though he spoke about the tragedy in the context of confronting anti-Semitism.
Pelosi told reporters after the speech that she appreciated Trump giving a shout-out to the record number of women in Congress, but noted that he neglected to mention the majority are Democrats.
Sanders: Trump was not completely 'accurate' during speech
Stacey Abrams: America made stronger by immigrants, 'not walls'
Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D) blasted President Trump in the Democratic response to his State of the Union address Tuesday night."America is made stronger by the presence of immigrants—not walls," Abrams said during her televised speech.
She also spoke about the need to confront racism at "the highest offices" in the country.
"We continue to confront racism from our past and in our present, which is why we must hold everyone from the highest offices to our own families accountable for racist words and deeds—and call racism what it is: wrong," she said.
Becerra knocks Trump's 'extravagant obsession' with border wall
California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraFDA guidance calls for voluntary salt reduction in food supply Half a loaf? Low-income seniors only get one thin slice of Medicare dental benefit Biden administration OKs Colorado expansion of transgender health coverage MORE (D) knocked Trump, saying he has an "extravagant obsession" with building a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
"The president no longer even repeats his promise that Mexico will pay for the thousands of millions of dollars that the wall would cost," he added during the Democrats' Spanish-language response to Trump's State of the Union.
Becerra added that if the president was interested in an immigration and border security deal that Democrats "have been and will be ready."
"But closing our government – and leaving hundreds of thousands of workers and contractors without work or pay – is not that way to do it," he said.
In addition to the border wall, Becerra knocked Trump for the ongoing investigation into the 2016 election, including potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
"How can it be explained that our nation lives under an intense investigation about Russian interference in our 2016 presidential elections and the involvement of President Trump? Criminality, conspiracy, obstruction of justice – all of these dark shadows follow Donald Trump and his administration," he said.
Trump wraps State of the Union speech
President Trump wrapped up his State of the Union speech, coming in at just under 90 minutes.
Trump was spotted shaking hands with military officials, Supreme Court justices and lawmakers on his way out of the House chamber.
Though most Democrats quickly left after Trump stopped speaking, Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOn The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan Schumer, McConnell headed for another collision over voting rights Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Climate divides conservative Democrats in reconciliation push MORE (W.Va.), Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsDefense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' Who is afraid of the EU's carbon border adjustment plan? MORE (Del.) and Doug Jones (Ala.) each shook hands with the president.
Several GOP lawmakers were overheard telling Trump that he gave a "great speech" as he exited the chamber.
Chamber sings 'Happy Birthday' to Tree of Life shooting survivor
The House chamber broke into a rendition of “Happy Birthday” during Tuesday's State of the Union address to celebrate a survivor of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting.
Judah Samet attended Tuesday’s address as a guest of the White House. President Trump acknowledged him in the crowd and noted it was his 81st birthday.
Attendees then broke into song, with Trump mock-conducting from the dais.
“Thank you!” Samet shouted.
“They wouldn't do that for me, Judah,” Trump joked, before continuing on with his speech.
Samet, who is a Holocaust survivor, is a member of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. A gunman opened fire at the synagogue last October, killing 11 people.
Chants of 'USA' after Trump says 'America will never be a socialist country'
Trump touted his efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, and announced he would hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the end of the month.
The president said he will travel to Vietnam to meet with Kim on Feb. 27 and 28. The date and location had been reported prior to the start of the State of the Union.
"If I had not been elected ... we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea," Trump said. The remarks prompted some applause from Republicans, and audible groans from Democrats.
"Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one," Trump added.
Trump and Kim held their first summit last June in Singapore. The president subsequently declared North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat, though experts and administration officials have acknowledged that Pyongyang has not taken yet tangible steps to abandon its nuclear arsenal.
Trump calls on Congress to ban late-term abortions
Trump called on Congress to pass legislation outlawing late-term abortions, noting that New York and Virginia have in recent weeks put forward policies that would allow such procedures.
“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb,” Trump said.
“Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life,” he added.
The president’s comments received applause from Republicans in the room. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was seen standing and clapping, but most Democrats remained seated.
New York lawmakers last month passed legislation expanding women’s access to abortions. The bill allows women to get abortions after 24 weeks if their life or health is threatened by the pregnancy, or if the fetus is not viable.
In Virginia, Democrats put forward a bill that would allow third-trimester abortions if the mother's health were threatened.
"We also have more women serving in Congress than at any time before," Trump continued.
Mr. President, seeking asylum at our border *is* legal. #SOTU— Senator Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDefense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' GOP disappointment with McConnell deal could delay vote MORE (@SenatorCardin) February 5, 2019
We’re groaning because it’s an outrageous lie. https://t.co/A7v3k63lfB— Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellProgressive poll finds support for solar energy tax credit legislation Democrats brace for toughest stretch yet with Biden agenda LIVE COVERAGE: Tax hikes take center stage in Ways and Means markup MORE, Jr. (@BillPascrell) February 5, 2019
Trump's economic rhetoric gets icy reception from Democrats
Trump's talk about the economy under his administration and the GOP tax plan is earning him sparse applause from congressional Democrats.
As the president talked about cutting regulation, a row of Senate Democrats, including Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyExpats plead with US to deliver COVID-19 vaccines Growing number of Democrats endorse abolishing debt limit altogether Senate approves short-term debt ceiling increase MORE (Conn.), were spotted seated and not clapping.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a potential 2020 contender, sighed after Trump touted the economy as "the hottest." Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) remained seated while Trump said that the state of the country is "strong."
Female House lawmakers were also spotted remaining seated and not applauding in response to Trump's line about a "new opportunity" in U.S. politics.
Trump says 'ridiculous partisan investigations' will derail economic progress
Trump warned that "ridiculous partisan investigations" would threaten the forward progress of the country, a warning shot at Democrats in the room who have pledged to look into the president's finances, White House security clearances and other areas.
“An economic miracle is taking place in the Untied States, and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations," Trump said.
As Republican lawmakers rose to applaud, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) could be seen reacting with disdain over the president's shoulder. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff: McCarthy 'will do whatever Trump tells him' if GOP wins back House Jan. 6 panel to pursue criminal contempt referral for Bannon Bannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ MORE (D-Calif.) was shown grinning in the crowd.
"If there is going to be peace and legislation there cannot be war and investigation," Trump said. "It just doesn’t work that way."
Pelosi's office responded in real time through her Twitter account, saying that Congress "has the responsibility to exercise oversight of the other branches of government. We would be delinquent in our duties if we failed to provide the necessary oversight."
Sorry, sir. But Article 1 of the Constitution is the legislative branch. And it has the responsibility to exercise oversight of the other branches of government. We would be delinquent in our duties if we failed to provide the necessary oversight. #SOTU— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) February 5, 2019
Trump recognizes D-Day veterans, Buzz Aldrin
The president near the start of his speech recognized a trio of veterans of the D-Day invasion in World War II, as well as astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
Lawmakers from both parties rose to give all four individuals a standing ovation.
Trump received further applause when he pledged that American astronauts “will go back to space on American rockets” this year.
This year marks 50 years since Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first men to walk on the moon, and 75 years since the D-Day invasion.
Trump arrives in the House chamber
President Trump arrived to bipartisan applause at the House chamber to deliver the annual State of the Union address.
Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryRepublicans are the 21st-century Know-Nothing Party College football move rocks Texas legislature Trump tries to spin failed Texas endorsement: 'This was a win' MORE is designated survivor
Energy Secretary Rick Perry will serve as the designated survivor for Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.
A Cabinet official is selected each year to remain at an undisclosed location during the State of the Union as a precaution in the event of a catastrophic incident at the Capitol.
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 served as the designated survivor during last year’s State of the Union, and former Veterans Affairs Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinFormer VA secretaries propose National Warrior Call Day to raise military suicide awareness Biden's nominee for VA secretary isn't a veteran — does it matter? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Congress slogs toward COVID-19 relief, omnibus deal MORE filled the role during President Trump’s 2017 address to a joint session of Congress.
Perry, who has served in Trump's Cabinet since the start of his administration, is 13th in the presidential line of succession.
Trump to describe immigration debate as key 'divide' between working class and political class
President Trump on Tuesday night will argue that immigration is the issue that illustrates the split between the country’s working and political classes as he pushes for stricter immigration policies in his State of the Union address.
“No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration. Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards,” Trump will say, according to excerpts of the speech shared by the White House.
Immigration is likely to be a central theme of Trump’s State of the Union address, which comes amid a standoff with Democrats over funding for a wall along the southern border. Trump has raised the prospect of declaring a national emergency to secure wall funding, something opposed by Democrats and many Republicans.
The president’s speech on Tuesday night will also lay out his priorities for the coming year, including lowering prescription drug prices, boosting the economy and implementing foreign policy.
“The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican Agenda or a Democrat Agenda," he will say, according to prepared excerpts. "It is the agenda of the American People."
White House surrogates have for days insisted that the president’s address on Tuesday night will have a focus on the need for comity and bipartisan cooperation. However, Trump on Tuesday morning lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSenate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act To Win 2022: Go big on reconciliation and invest in Latinx voters McConnell-aligned group targeting Kelly, Cortez Masto and Hassan with M ad campaign MORE (D-N.Y.) and hours later reportedly laced into a host of Democrats during a private lunch with television anchors.
Pence, senators enter House chamber for Trump speech
Senate walking to the State of the Union in bipartisan pairs. Also the Democratic senate ladies are not wearing white like their House colleagues pic.twitter.com/KWuagxtEw1— Natalie Andrews (@nataliewsj) February 5, 2019
Becerra to blast Trump over border, immigration policies
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) will rip President Trump over his proposal for a U.S.-Mexico border wall during the Democrats' Spanish-language response to Trump's State of the Union.
Becerra will call Trump's floated option of declaring a national emergency in order to construct the wall both "immoral" and "illegal," adding that the country is in a state of "disorder," "stress" and "hostility."
Becerra is also expected to knock the Trump administration on its policies that call for separating families who enter the U.S. illegally along the U.S.-Mexico border.
"They're putting a wall between parents and their children, by putting children in cages away from their families," he will say. "Friends, believe me, we can bring down walls with our hands. More than that, we have done it."
In addition the physical wall along the border, Becerra will accuse Trump of trying to build a "wall" on a myriad of issues, including health care and voting rights.
"They are putting a wall between you and your doctor, dictating what services you can receive," he will say. "They are putting a wall between you and the voting booth."
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez arrives at Capitol
Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) arrived shortly before 8 p.m. for her first State of the Union address as a member of Congress.
The liberal firebrand brought Ana Maria Archila as her guest. Archila confronted then-Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake donating unused campaign funds to Arizona nonprofit focused on elections: report Biden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report MORE (R-Ariz.) in an elevator last year during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughWhy Latinos need Supreme Court reform Feehery: A Republican Congress is needed to fight left's slide to autocracy The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Democrats to scale back agenda MORE as the judge faced sexual misconduct allegations.
Ocasio-Cortez has emerged as major force within the party, offering support for a Green New Deal, higher tax rates on the wealthiest Americans and other progressive ideas. The freshman lawmaker joined numerous other Democratic lawmakers in wearing white to Tuesday's address to honor the suffragettes.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez arrives with guest Ana Maria Archilla, who confronted then-Sen. Jeff Flake during contentious Kavanaugh hearings, for the State of the Union address. https://t.co/rCC2mQxVUx #SOTU pic.twitter.com/Xhw6o6Xcw2— ABC News (@ABC) February 6, 2019
"Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace," Abrams will say.
But Abrams is also expected to talk about the need for bipartisanship and for individuals to work together, adding that in the United States "we do not succeed alone."
"We may come from different sides of the political aisle; but, our joint commitment to the ideals of this nation cannot be negotiable," she will say.
She's expected to use her remarks to take a veiled swipe at Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan Schumer, McConnell headed for another collision over voting rights MORE (R-Ky.), who recently called a key Democratic proposal that would make Election Day a federal holiday a "power grab."
"We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counted is a 'power grab.' … The foundation of our moral leadership around the globe is free and fair elections, where voters pick their leaders – not where politicians pick their voters," Abrams is expected to say.
Ann Coulter watching Trump's speech 'for the commercials'
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter said Tuesday she plans to watch the State of the Union address, "but just for the commercials."
Coulter, who voted for President Trump and wrote a book in 2016 lavishing praise on the then-candidate, has in recent weeks been an outspoken critic of the president over his inability to secure funding for a wall along the southern border.
The State of the Union does not feature commercials during the president's address.
I'll be watching the State of the Union address, but just for the commercials. https://t.co/VXp0hOeqX0— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) February 6, 2019
Former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday he’s glad the woman who confronted him in a Capitol elevator last year during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing is attending the State of the Union as a guest of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
“I’m glad she’s there,” he said on CBS News, where he’s a contributor. “You know, she had a real impact. I was very unsettled about where we were on the Kavanaugh nomination. I felt there was no reason why we couldn’t have an FBI investigation and that episode in the elevator helped me make up my mind to actually request and demand that investigation.”
Footage of Ana Maria Archila’s exchange with Flake went viral last September when she told the then-senator that he was sending a message that sexual assault survivors “don’t matter” by supporting Kavanaugh’s nomination despite sexual misconduct allegations against the judge.
The Senate ultimately confirmed Kavanaugh, 50-48, with Flake voting in favor of the judge.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that President Trump could "prevail" in the fight with Congress over an emergency declaration to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall by vetoing a potential resolution.
McConnell, speaking with Fox News's Martha MacCallum, declined to say how he would vote on a potential resolution of disapproval, but predicted that it "wouldn't be without controversy" if the president declares a national emergency.
"I think there are different opinions about it, and if he goes that route we'll just hash it out," McConnell said, asked if he thought Republicans would line up behind Trump if he declares a national emergency.
The Senate GOP leader added that Trump could "prevail" in a potential fight with Congress by vetoing a resolution of disapproval if it reaches his desk. The resolution would initially only need to be able to garner a simple majority in both chambers. Democrats would then need two-thirds support in both chambers in order to override a veto.
"The president could win anyway by vetoing the bill and then trying to get enough votes to sustain it, so may ultimately be able to prevail on the national emergency alternative," McConnell said.
Though a group of lawmakers have until Feb. 15 to reach a deal on breaking the months-long stalemate over border security funding, the president hasn't yet ruled out declaring a national emergency to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Without a deal the government could face its second partial shutdown in as many months. McConnell told Fox News on Tuesday that "nothing good comes out of a government shutdown."