White House announces Trump's guests for 2020 State of the Union

The White House on Tuesday released the list of guests President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrumps to host Halloween at White House despite coronavirus Judge throws out Trump campaign lawsuit against New Jersey mail-in ballots MSNBC host cuts off interview with Trump campaign spokesman after clash on alleged voter fraud MORE will host during the State of the Union address, including military veterans, a Gold Star family and a border patrol agent.

Eleven individuals will attend the speech, according to the White House. Each individual's backstory relates to an aspect Trump is expected to highlight in his address.

Tony Rankins and Paul Morrow are both Army veterans who have benefitted from the Opportunity Zones created through Republican tax cut legislation passed in late 2017. 


Kelli and Gage Hake are Oklahoma residents and the widow and son, respectively, of Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Hake, who was killed while serving in Iraq. The White House said Hake was killed by a roadside bomb supplied by Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The U.S. killed Soleimani last month in a drone strike.

Trump is expected to discuss immigration and chastise sanctuary cities in his speech on Tuesday. One of his guests is Jody Jones, a California resident whose brother was killed in late 2018 by an immigrant with a criminal history who was in the country illegally.

Raul Ortiz, a deputy chief for U.S. Border Patrol, will also be in attendance.

The president is also expected to urge Congress to push legislation related to school choice. Stephanie and Janiyah Davis are Philadelphia residents who will be in attendance on Tuesday night. The White House said Janiyah, who is in the fourth grade, has been stuck attending "low-performing" schools because the governor vetoed school choice legislation in Pennsylvania.

Foreign policy will also play some role in Trump's speech. In an indication he will discuss the situation in Venezuela, the president is hosting Ivan Simonovis, who was the former chief of police in Caracas and was imprisoned for 15 years by the Maduro and Chavez regimes. He escaped Venezuela to the U.S. in 2019. 

Robin and Ellie Schneider will also be in attendance on Tuesday. Ellie was born prematurely at 21 weeks and six days and is one of the youngest babies to survive in the United States, the White House said.