In his 2020 State of the Union address, President Trump reiterated many of his typical talking points: He touted a strong economy and low unemployment, and railed against sanctuary cities and Medicare for All. But he also delivered emotional surprises, awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh and reuniting an American soldier with his family.
"The years of economic decay are over," Mr. Trump said at the beginning of his speech."The economy is the best it's ever been."
More than halfway through the address, Mr. Trump began taking shots at some of the Democrats in the room. He promised that "we will never let socialism destroy American health care," and blasted illegal immigration and sanctuary cities.
Mr. Trump also had surprises for some of his guests, including a fourth grader who was granted an opportunity scholarship and a wife who was reunited with her husband, an American soldier returning from deployment.
Before giving his address, Mr. Trump appeared to snub Nancy Pelosi's handshake. When she introduced Mr. Trump, Pelosi left out the customary phrase, "I have the high privilege and distinct honor of" introducing the president of the United States, and simply introduced him as "the president of the United States."
After Mr. Trump finished speaking, Pelosi ripped up his speech.
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Nancy Pelosi tweets photo of Trump apparently rejecting her handshake
After ripping up Mr. Trump's State of the Union address, Pelosi tweeted a photo of Mr. Trump appearing to reject her handshake at the beginning of the night.
"Democrats will never stop extending the hand of friendship to get the job done #ForThePeople," Pelosi wrote. "We will work to find common ground where we can, but will stand our ground where we cannot. #SOTU."
White House slams Pelosi for ripping up Trump's speech
The White House released a scathing statement on Twitter slamming Pelosi forin the moments after he concluded his address.
"Speaker Pelosi just ripped up: One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen. The survival of a child born at 21 weeks. The mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller. A service member's reunion with his family," the White House wrote. "That's her legacy."
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivers Democratic State of the Union response
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who was tapped to deliver the Democratic response to President Trump's State of the Union address, ignored the specifics of Trump's speech and instead chose to highlight "what Democrats are doing."
Whitmer started off talking about improving U.S. infrastructure, stating, "President Trump and Republicans in the Senate are blocking our path."
She then pivoted to healthcare, claiming "Democrats are trying to make your healthcare better," and "Republicans in Washington are trying to take it away."
Whitmer also criticized Trump's bragging about the economy. "It doesn't matter what Trump says about the stock market," she said. "What matters is millions of people are struggling to get by."
"When the President says the economy is strong, my question is, strong for who?" she said.
Whitmer concluded her response by speaking about Wednesday's final impeachment vote.
"The truth matters, facts matter, and no one should be above the law. It's not what those senators say, tomorrow, it's about what they do that matters. Remember, listen to what people say but watch what they do. It's time for action. Generations of Americans are counting on us. Let's not let them down."
Pelosi rips up Trump's State of the Union address
As members of Congress applauded Mr. Trump at the conclusion of his speech, Pelosi, standing behind him, appeared to tear up the speech presented to her by the president. Pelosi, standing with pursed lips, ripped several pieces of paper as Mr. Trump received applause from Republicans in Congress.
Earlier, when she was introducing him, Pelosi did not say it was her "high privilege and distinct honor" to introduce the president, as is tradition. Mr. Trump appeared to ignore Pelosi when she offered her hand to him before he began speaking.
Speaking to reporters after the speech, Pelosi said she ripped the speech because it was "the courteous thing to do."
"It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative," Pelosi said.
Trump concludes his speech: "This nation is our canvas, and this country is our masterpiece"
The president concluded his speech by listing some of the greatest Americans in U.S. history: Harriet Tubman, the Wright brothers, Amelia Earhart, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
"The American nation was carved out of the vast frontier by the toughest, strongest, fiercest, and most determined men and women ever to walk the face of the Earth," the president said. "... This Nation is our canvas, and this country is our masterpiece. We look at tomorrow and see unlimited frontiers just waiting to be explored. Our brightest discoveries are not yet known. Our most thrilling stories are not yet told. Our grandest journeys are not yet made. The American age, the American epic, the American adventure, has only just begun."
Congressmen walk out of State of the Union address: "It's all fake"
Two congressmen, Tim Ryan and Bill Pascrell Jr., walked out of Mr. Trump's speech before he had concluded out of frustration with the president's messages.
"I've had enough. It's like watching professional wrestling. It's all fake," Ryan wrote on Twitter.
"I can't stand a liar. This man's presidency is a national tragedy," Pascrell tweeted.
Trump surprises military family with return of soldier father
President Trump surprised one military family by reuniting them with their father, who was supposed to be on his fourth deployment overseas.
Mr. Trump introduced military wife Amy Williams from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and her two children. He then called out for Sergeant First Class Townsend Williams, who entered down the balcony stairs to meet his wife and children. Amy Williams covered her mouth as her eyes widened in surprise.
Audience members were visibly moved, and chants of "USA, USA" broke out in the House chamber.
Father of Parkland victim ejected after yelling at the president
Fred Guttenberg, the father of Parkland high school shooting victim Jaime Guttenberg, was swiftly ejected from the speaker's box after he screamed at the president, following Mr. Trump's vow to protect the 2nd Amendment. It was unclear what Gutenberg said.
The president said he'll always protect the Second Amendment, but said nothing about preventing school or other mass shootings.
Trump touts strikes against al-Baghdadi and Soleimani
Mr. Trump touted the strikes that killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, and Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani. The strike that killed Soleimani was particularly controversial and resulted in a retaliatory strike from Iran on U.S. military bases in Iraq.
"As the world's top terrorist, Soleimani orchestrated the deaths of countless men, women, and children. He directed the December assault on United States Forces in Iraq, and was actively planning new attacks. That is why, last month, at my direction, the United States Military executed a flawless precision strike that killed Soleimani and terminated his evil reign of terror forever," Mr. Trump said. "Our message to the terrorists is clear: You will never escape American justice. If you attack our citizens, you forfeit your life!"
Seated in the first lady's box are Kelli and Gage Hake. Kelli Hake's husband, Christopher Hake, was killed in Iraq in 2008 when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb that the Defense Department has said was provided to Iraqi militias by Soleimani.
In response to the strike that killed Soleimani, the House passed measures to prevent Mr. Trump from engaging in hostilities with Iran.
Pelosi and Democrats stand to applaud call for infrastructure funding
In a rare moment of unity, Pelosi and other House Democrats stood to applaud the president's call to fund the nation's infrastructure, something he's said he'd tackle for years. The president called on Congress to pass a highway bill proposed by Republican Senator John Barrasso.
Pelosi has rarely stood in approval of the president's remarks.
Trump blasts illegal immigration and sanctuary cities
The president also brought up one of the signature issues that helped get him elected: Illegal immigration.
Using vivid language, the president described crimes committed by immigrants who were in the U.S. illegally and blasted so-called sanctuary cities that decline to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
"Tragically, there are many cities in America where radical politicians have chosen to provide sanctuary for these criminal illegal aliens. In sanctuary cities, local officials order police to release dangerous criminal aliens to prey upon the public, instead of handing them over to ICE to be safely removed."
The president also highlighted the most prominent symbol of his campaign, the wall he has long sought, saying his administration has completed more than 100 miles. Almost all of these miles of wall have been built in areas where some barrier already existed.
Trump calls for legislation banning late-term abortion
Mr. Trump called for legislation to ban late-term abortion, a measure sought by his conservative base.
"Whether we are Republican, Democrat, or Independent, surely we must all agree that every human life is a sacred gift from God!" Mr. Trump said.
He also praised recent legislation that provides paid family leave for all federal workers, a bipartisan provision included in last year's National Defense Authorization Act.
Trump calls for bipartisan legislation to lower prescription drug prices
In a rare call for bipartisanship, Mr. Trump urged members of Congress to work on legislation to lower prescription drug prices.
"Working together, the Congress can reduce drug prices substantially from current levels. I have been speaking to Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and others in the Congress in order to get something on drug pricing done, and done quickly and properly," Mr. Trump said. "I am calling for bipartisan legislation that achieves the goal of dramatically lowering prescription drug prices. Get a bill to my desk, and I will sign it into law without delay."
The House has also passed legislation to lower prescription drug prices. This legislation is unlikely to reach the Senate floor. When Mr. Trump mentioned this goal, Pelosi shook her head. Several Democrats stood and chanted "H.R. 3" — the House bill to lower prescription drug prices.
Melania Trump presents Rush Limbaugh with Presidential Medal of Freedom
Mr. Trump praised one of the White House guests, radio host Rush Limbaugh, who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Limbaugh is an extremely controversial figure who hosts a popular right-wing radio show.
"Rush Limbaugh, thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country. Rush, in recognition of all that you have done for our Nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and inspire, and all of the incredible work that you have done for charity, I am proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our country's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom," Mr. Trump said.
Limbaugh gasped and teared up when Mr. Trump made this announcement. First lady Melania Trump then presented Limbaugh with the honor as they stood in the visitors gallery.
Trump slams "Medicare for All," saying "we will never let socialism destroy American health care"
Mr. Trump took a shot at Democrats, including some senators running for president who support "Medicare for All."
"There are those who want to take away your healthcare, take away your doctor, and abolish private insurance entirely," Mr. Trump warned, pointing to 132 lawmakers who "have endorsed legislation to impose a socialist takeover of our healthcare system."
They would be "wiping out the private health insurance plans of 180 million very happy Americans," he said. "We will never let socialism destroy American healthcare!"
He also railed against Democrats who support legislation to provide undocumented immigrants with government-funded health care, saying, "over 130 lawmakers would bankrupt our nation by providing free taxpayer-funded healthcare to millions of illegal aliens."
He promised, "We will always protect your Medicare and your Social Security," although he signaled in January that he would consider cuts to these programs.
Trump offers scholarship to girl who was wait-listed
Picking up on a key issue for the Republican party and his education secretary, Betsy Devos, the president emphasized the importance of allowing families to choose where their students go to school. Too many children have been "trapped" in government schools, the president said.
Eighteen states, Mr. Trump said, have created school choice through opportunity scholarships. Mr. Trump pointed out one student on a wait list for such a scholarship, Janiyah Davis, a fourth-grade student from Philadelphia who is one of the White House guests seated in the first lady's box.
Pennsylvania's governor has vetoed school choice legislation. But in his speech, Mr. Trump announced the young girl is being awarded an opportunity scholarship, and will be going to the "school of your choice."
The president urged more states to pass school choice initiatives.
Trump highlights Space Force as he introduces White House guests
Mr. Trump touted the newly established Space Force, the branch of the military which was officially formed last month. He introduced one of the White House guests, 13-year-old Iain Lanphier, who aspires to join the Space Force as an adult.
"Iain has always dreamed of going to space. He was first in his class and among the youngest at an aviation academy. He aspires to go to the Air Force Academy, and then he has his eye on the Space Force. As Iain says, 'most people look up at space. I want to look down on the world,'" Mr. Trump said.
The president also praised Iain's great-grandfather, another guest of the White House, Charles McGee. McGee is one of the last surviving Tuskegee airmen, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday. Mr. Trump recently signed a bill promoting McGee to brigadier general.
McGee, who was wearing his uniform, received a standing ovation from both parties.
Pelosi omits "privilege" and "honor" when introducing Trump
When Pelosi introduced Mr. Trump ahead of his address, she left out the customary phrase, "I have the high privilege and distinct honor of" introducing the president of the United States.
Instead, she simply introduced him as "the president of the United States."
When asked if he had any guidance on why Pelosi omitted those words, a top Pelosi aide told CBS News "nope."
Trump welcomes Venezuela's Juan Guaidó
Mr. Trump highlighted the plight of Venezuelans, noting his administration has been fighting against the regime of Nicolas Maduro. Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, recognized by the U.S. and other nations as the rightful leader of the country, is in the House chamber as a White House guest.
"Joining us in the gallery is the true and legitimate president of Venezuela, Juan Guaido," Mr. Trump said, as Guaidó solemnly waved.
The president used the opportunity to highlight what his White House sees as the evils of socialism.
"Socialism destroys nations. But always remember, freedom unifies the soul," Mr. Trump said.
Trump praises USMCA trade deal
Mr. Trump praised the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, which was signed by the president last month after being passed by Congress on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis. Mr. Trump railed at its precursor, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) when he was a candidate, and he made replacing the trade deal a key part of his agenda.
"Unfair trade is perhaps the single biggest reason that I decided to run for president," Mr. Trump said. "I keep my promises, we did our job."
Pelosi shook her head as Mr. Trump mentioned USMCA. The president did not note that Pelosi had been a key player in negotiating the final trade deal and helped to lock in support for the deal from labor unions.
Democrats applaud as Trump touts criminal justice reform
Democrats have largely avoided applauding Mr. Trump's address, but the president received bipartisan applause when he touted the, which he signed into law in late 2018.
"Everyone was saying criminal justice reform couldn't be done," Mr. Trump said. "The people in this room got it done."
When Mr. Trump signed the First Step Act, thousands of inmates became eligible for an earlier release or a reduced sentence. The law increased the number of good conduct time credits an inmate can earn per year and built on former President Barack Obama's Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which reduced penalties for crack-cocaine offenses.
According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, those changes can help more than 140,000 people in prison. — Jericka Duncan contributed reporting.
Trump touts economy with familiar lines
When touting the economy, Mr. Trump used lines he's hammered home many times before.
Wages are rising, and "wonderfully," are rising fastest for low-income workers, he said. The president claimed a record number of young Americans are employed, that the unemployment rate for African-American workers is at a record low, and that millions of Americans have come off food stamps.
"This is a blue-collar boom," the president said.
Jobs, Mr. Trump claimed, are "pouring" into struggling neighborhoods through opportunity zones, crediting South Carolina's Senator Tim Scott.
"This is the first time that these deserving communities have seen anything like this," Mr. Trump said.
While Republicans give Trump standing ovations, Democrats remain seated
Mr. Trump's speech is punctuated by frequent applause and standing ovations from the Republican side of the House chamber, but most Democrats are refusing to clap or stand for the president. As Mr. Trump touted the economy, most Democrats remained seated, many with skeptical looks on their faces. Pelosi, seated behind Mr. Trump, conspicuously did not stand or applaud for Mr. Trump when Pence, sitting next to her, stood.
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is the designated survivor
David Bernhardt, the Interior Secretary, is thefor the evening, meaning that he is the cabinet secretary who is not attending the address in case of a disaster that takes out Mr. Trump and other members of Congress.
In case of such a catastrophe, Bernhardt would become the president.
Trump says country is "thriving and highly respected again" and "stronger than ever before"
Mr. Trump began his speech with some of his most frequently used lines and themes, insisting the economy is extremely strong, and the country is respected again around the world.
Mr. Trump, who has encouraged other allied nations to pay more for defense and has built his foreign policy around a concept of "America first," said the "downsizing" of America's reputation has been utterly rejected.
"We have totally rejected the downsizing," the president said.
The president told the crowd the state of the union is "stronger than ever before."
President Trump enters the chamber
President Trump entered the chamber shortly after 9 p.m. to applause and cheers from Republican members. Mr. Trump will spend several minutes shaking hands with members of Congress as he makes his way to the dais where he will give his speech. Pelosi and other Democrats gave perfunctory applause for the president.
Mr. Trump shook hands with the chief justice on his way to the podium.
Pelosi tried to shake Mr. Trump's hand, but he did not extend his hand.
First lady Melania Trump arrives to much applause
First lady Melania Trump arrived just moments before 9 p.m. She and her guests were greeted with enthusiastic applause. The Cabinet arrived soon after and was also greeted with applause.
Supreme Court justices arrive at House chamber
Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh entered the chamber shortly before 9 p.m. to applause from members of Congress. They will be sitting in the front row.
Pelosi gavels in joint session of Congress for address
Nancy Pelosi gaveled in a joint session of Congress for the president's address, as senators streamed into the House chamber and greeted and back slapped other members.
Pelosi is wearing the signature white suit, seemingly the same one she wore to last year's State of the Union address.
Most senators and House members were at least standing in front of their seats by 8:50 p.m.
Trump leaves White House for Capitol building
Mr. Trump departed the White House for the short drive to the Capitol shortly after 8:30 p.m. The State of the Union address is expected to start at around 9 p.m.
Democratic congresswomen wear white to State of the Union to honor suffrage movement
Several Democratic congresswomen are wearing white to the State of the Union address, honoring the suffrage movement and the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
"Proud to join my fellow @HouseDemWomen today as we #WearWhite to show support for the ongoing fight to achieve equality for women across the country," Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted, along with a picture of dozens of congresswomen wearing white.
Several congresswomen chose to wear white to last year's State of the Union address, including Pelosi.
Democrats release excerpts of their responses to State of the Union
Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmore and Representative Veronica Escobar. Whitmore will deliver an English-language address, while Escobar will deliver an address in Spanish. The speeches, obviously, were written ahead of the president's address.
Whitmore's address is a personal one, touching on health care, according to the excerpts released.
"I was holding down a new job, caring for my newborn daughter as well as my mom at the end of her brain cancer battle," Whitmore is expected to say. "I was up all night with a baby and during the day, I had to fight my mom's insurance company when they wrongly denied her coverage for chemotherapy. It was hard. It exposed the harsh realities of our workplaces, our health care system, and our child care system. And it changed me. I lost my patience for people who play games instead of solve problems. So, as a state senator, I worked with a Republican governor and legislature to expand health care coverage to more than 680,000 Michiganders under the Affordable Care Act. ... It's pretty simple. Democrats are trying to make your health care better. Republicans in Washington are trying to take it away."
Escobar, in her address, highlights immigration, election integrity, and gun violence.
"From attacks against Dreamers, family separation, the deaths of migrant children, to the Remain in Mexico policy that sends asylum seekers into dangerous situations. These are policies none of us ever imagined would happen in America in our lifetime," she's expected to say.
"I remember seeing the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island for the first time. I was in awe of Lady Liberty," Escober continues. "She stands as the guardian of our ideals — that all people are created equal, that the vulnerable are to be cared for and not shunned, and that America is the shining example of goodness. It is up to all of us — in the face of one of the most challenging times in history — to reflect the dignity, grace of Lady Liberty and the values of America."
Chief Justice John Roberts, three other justices, to attend State of the Union
Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to return to the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday to attend Mr. Trump's State of the Union, the Supreme Court said, and will be joined by Justices Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
While Justice Stephen Breyer typically attends, he has come down with "flu-like symptoms" and will have to miss the event, according to the high court.
Also in attendance will be Louise Gorsuch, Ashley Kavanaugh and Maureen Scalia, wife of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Roberts' decision to attend the president's address after presiding over the Senate trial stands in contrast with that of his predecessor, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who did not attend President Clinton's State of the Union in 1999. Clinton's speech took place in the middle of the Senate's impeachment trial against him, over which Rehnquist presided.
Not all Supreme Court justices make the trip across First Street to the U.S. Capitol for the State of the Union year after year. Alito last attended the event in 2010, when he was caught on camera mouthing "not true" after then-President Barack Obama criticized the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission.
Justice Clarence Thomas, meanwhile, said in 2010 the annual speech has become "partisan" and uncomfortable for members of the high court.
Pelosi's guest list focuses on health care
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is bringing guests who work in the health care industry or who are afflicted by health problems, in order to highlight her commitment to improving health care.
The four guests are:
California Surgeon General, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris
Jonah Cohen, who was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, and his mother Jennifer Pliner
Cheyanne Faulkner and Morgan Faulkner-twins living with Type I diabetes
Maryland naïve Xiomara Hung, battling a series of medical issues, and her mother Elena Hung
The guests will also bring attention to Trump policy positions that have threatened coverage for preexisting conditions.
"Tonight, President Trump will speak to an audience filled with Americans who are suffering because of his broken promises on prescription drug costs and his all-out assault on Americans with pre-existing conditions," said Pelosi in a statement. "It is my privilege to have among my guests several brave Americans whose stories and experiences show the life and death stakes of President Trump's assault on affordable health care."
White House spokesman says word "impeachment" not in Trump's speech
Principal deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters ahead of Mr. Trump's third State of the Union that the president's address currently does not mention impeachment.
"I've seen the speech tonight, and I've not seen the word impeachment," Gidley said.
But he cautioned that could change.
"As he likes to say, we'll see what happens," Gidley said of the president.
The impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump, which are expected to come to a close with a Senate vote Wednesday, are hanging over the president's annual address before a joint session of Congress. Gidley criticized the impeachment efforts brought by House Democrats and reiterated that Mr. Trump "did nothing wrong here."
Gidley said Mr. Trump is "ready to deliver" his State of the Union and is "in a great mood." The president, he added, is "intimately involved" in all of his speeches, including this one.
White House reveals guests for State of the Union
The White House has announced the guests who will join Mr. Trump and first lady Melania Trump at his third State of the Union address.
Here are the 11 guests who will sit in the first lady's box:
Stephanie and Janiyah Davis of Philadelphia: According to the White House, Stephanie Davis attempted to apply for a tax-credit scholarship for her daughter, Janiyah but remains on a waitlist after Pennsylvania's governor vetoed school choice legislation.
Kelli and Gage Hake of Stillwater, Oklahoma: Kelli Hake's husband, Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Hake, was killed in Iraq when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb supplied by Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, the White House said. Soleimani was killed last month in a drone strike ordered by the president.
Jody Jones of Farmersville, California: Jones' brother, Rocket Jones, was fatally shot by an undocumented immigrant in California in late 2018. The shooter had been arrested in the past and twice deported, according to the White House.
Paul Morrow of Montgomery, Alabama: Morrow, an Army veteran, started a contracting business after his military service and is building a concrete plant in an Opportunity Zone in Alabama, the White House said.
Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz of Del Rio, Texas: Ortiz serves as the deputy chief of United States Border Patrol. He joined the Border Patrol in 1991.
Tony Rankins of Cincinnati, Ohio: A military veteran, Rankins suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in the Army and a drug addiction. He served several prison sentences, the White House said. Rankins now works at "R Investments," which trained him in construction trades, and works in an Opportunity Zone in Cincinnati.
Robin and Ellie Schneider of Kansas City, Missouri: Ellie Schneider, now 2 years old, was born at 21 weeks and six days, making her one of the youngest babies to survive in the U.S., according to the White House.
Ivan Simonovis of Caracas, Venezuela: Simonovis served as the police commissioner in Caracas before he was imprisoned in 2004 for shielding protesters. He was detained for 15 years before fleeing house arrest last year and now lives in Florida.
Some Democrats to boycott the State of the Union
At least four Democratic representatives will boycott the State of the Union on Tuesday evening. Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson of Florida and Congressman Al Green of Texas announced that they would not attend the president's speech as of Tuesday afternoon.
"Because of an impeached, reckless, ruthless, lawless, shameless, corrupt, & unapologetically bigoted president — who is still engaging in a coverup, the state of the House, the state of the Senate, and the #StateOfTheUnion are divided," Green wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
This is the third year that Blumenauer, Cohen, Green and Wilson are boycotting the State of the Union.
Trump might avoid discussing impeachment in State of the Union
A senior administration official tells CBS News that advisers are urging Mr. Trump not to mention impeachment during his speech and to use the address to focus on his policy achievements instead. However, it's unclear whether Mr. Trump will heed this advice.
The president is making final edits to the speech with his team throughout the day, and as of Tuesday morning impeachment is not mentioned. For months, Mr. Trump has "cobbled together" pieces in his signature black marker for speechwriters, in recent days slipping these notes to staffers as he gets ideas, the official said.
On Sunday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said she has seen a draft of the speech, and it does not include impeachment. — Weijia Jiang and Paula Reid
Trump plans to offer "vision of relentless optimism" in address
The White House says the president's tone will be one of optimism — that Mr. Trump will deliver the message that the state of the nation is better than ever. The senior administration official who briefed reporters said the theme of the president's speech is the "Great American Comeback," offering the country a "vision of relentless optimism" by celebrating the nation's economic and military strength.
That will include talking up blue-collar successes, the China trade deal and U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement. He'll also emphasize claims that his administration is working to lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs. He's expected to bring up more controversial matters too, like sanctuary cities and his administration's crackdown on illegal immigrants.
The president has some data to back up his economic message. The unemployment rate is historically low, although the workforce participation rate is still low. Drug overdose deaths dropped for the first time in two years, a bright spot for a country that has seen the opioid epidemic destroy families and ravage communities. The president also has the deaths of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Islamic military general Qasem Soleimani to tout, although military readiness issues such as old equipment continue to plague the country's military branches, according to the Government Accountability Office. Reflecting the president's rhetorical emphasis on the military, one of his guests will be Army veteran Tony Rankins.
State of the Union only public event on Trump's schedule
Mr. Trump has one public event on his schedule Tuesday: his State of the Union address.
He is expected to deliver the speech starting at 9:10 p.m. and return to the White House just before 11 p.m.
The president will deliver his remarks ahead of the Senate's vote Wednesday on whether to convict or acquit him on two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Closing arguments in the Senate trial concluded Monday afternoon.