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Trump will call for unity in today's State of the Union address

06 February 2019

Slated to deliver the annual State of the Union address on Tuesday night, US President Donald Trump will renew calls for a wall on the US-Mexico border, less than two weeks after he suffered a political defeat on that proposal.

Among other guests are Fred Guttenberg, the father of a Parkland, Florida, student killed by gun violence, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez and several national labor union leaders.

"This President is going to call for an end to the politics of resistance, retribution and call for more comity - c-o-m-i-t-y", counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway said Monday. The White House denied the allegation, calling it "outrageous".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who won plaudits from Democrats for her hard-line negotiating tactics during the shutdown, will be seated behind the president. Her requests for clemency had been rejected by President Barack Obama, who during eight years in office commuted the sentences of hundreds of federal inmates convicted of drug crimes.

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"I take a back seat to nobody in decrying President Trump's cynical and divisive performance ... but the Democrats, with their childish protests, took the bait", Milbank complained.

Remember the goofy carrot-and-stick way much of the media covered Trump in the first year of his presidency, shaking their heads dolorously when he ranted on Twitter or in press conferences but heaping plaudits on him when he struck a more measured, bipartisan tone in public addresses, speculating hopefully about a "new, more presidential" Trump? Trump's approval rating before his third address is the lowest of any president except Ronald Reagan.

The address is also being used as a fundraising tool for the President's re-election campaign, soliciting input from supporters. The counter-puncher in chief charged Schumer with being "upset that he didn't win the Senate, after spending a fortune, like he thought he would".

There are two major ways Trump could take his immigration rhetoric during his speech.

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The president is also sticking to tradition and hosting television news anchors for lunch.

The source said Mr Trump would discuss troop drawdowns in Syria and Afghanistan and that about half the speech would be devoted to foreign policy.

Trump's speech also will offer an olive branch to opponents as he looks toward the 2020 election, targeting areas he sees for potential bipartisan agreement, such as infrastructure improvements, lowering prescription drug costs and healthcare. Felons who were released through a presidential pardon and the recent criminal-rehabilitation law Trump signed; a Homeland Security Department agent who works on human-trafficking cases; survivors of last year's synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh and children who spotlight the US First Lady's pet causes will also feature in the 2019 SOTU.

Trump will speak in the House chamber of the Capitol before members of the House and Senate and other government officials.

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Another Democratic star, Stacey Abrams, will deliver the party's response to Trump.

Trump will call for unity in today's State of the Union address