Trump says State of the Union address is ‘CANCELED’

Trump says State of the Union address is ‘CANCELED’

Trump says State of the Union address is ‘CANCELED’ after Nancy Pelosi defies his demand to speak to Congress next Tuesday – and he insists she’s ‘afraid of the truth’

  • President Donald Trump accused Nancy Pelosi of ‘canceling’ his State of the Union address on Wednesday after a fiery exchange of letters
  • She told the president he would only be welcome in Congress when the government shutdown is over
  • He admitted shortly after that he would not be delivering his address, as planned, on Jan. 29 to a Joint Session of Congress
  • He exploded on her in Oval Office remarks in which he said it’s a ‘disgrace’ that she’s interfering the annual tradition
  • ‘Well do something in the alternative,’ he said. Trump told reporters the details of his new event would come at a later date 
  • Earlier in the day senior adviser Kellyanne Conway rule out a rally
  • But that was before Pelosi’s letter disinviting him  

President Donald Trump accused Nancy Pelosi of ‘canceling’ his State of the Union address, because ‘she afraid of the truth,’ after a fiery exchange on Wednesday between the two leaders in letters. 

She said the president would only be welcome in Congress when the government shutdown is over. He admitted shortly after that he would not be delivering the speech as planned on Jan. 29 to a Joint Session of Congress.

‘The State of the Union speech has been canceled by Nancy Pelosi, because she doesn’t want to hear the truth. She doesn’t want the American public to hear what’s going on. And she’s afraid of the truth,’ he stated. ‘The American people want to hear the truth. They have to hear the truth.’

He exploded on her in Cabinet Room remarks in which he said it’s a ‘disgrace’ that she’s interfering in the speech that has been an annual tradition since 1913.

‘It’s a sad thing for our country. We’ll do something in the alternative,’ Trump proclaimed.

He told reporters that the details of his new event would come at a later date.   

President Donald Trump accused Nancy Pelosi of ‘canceling’ his State of the Union address on Wednesday after a fiery exchange of letters in which she told the president he would only be welcome in Congress when the government shutdown is over 

The president told Pelosi that it would be ‘so very sad’ if his speech weren’t ‘delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!’ She told Trump that he is welcome to address Congress after the government shutdown has ended

Pelosi slapped down an assertion from Trump that he would be delivering his State of the Union address in the House of Representatives next Tuesday in a letter on Wednesday afternoon.  

President Trump prompted the rebuff from Pelosi, the House speaker, with a letter telling her he’d be making remarks to a Joint Session of Congress, in spite of her request that he delay his speech until the end of the partial government shutdown that is nearing the end of its fifth week. 

Pelosi told him in a response letter that he would not be giving the remarks in the House — he does not have the necessary permission from Congress. 

Congress must first pass a concurrent resolution granting him the authority to address a Joint Session, and she says she will not be bringing one to the floor.

‘I am writing to inform you that the House of Representatives will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber until government has opened,’ she said. ‘Again, I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when government has been opened.’

Trump had conveniently hauled reporters into the Oval Office immediately before Pelosi published the letter.

Asked about her rebuff as it was breaking, he said: ‘I’m not surprised. It’s really a shame what’s happening with the Democrats. They’ve become radicalized. They don’t want to see crime stopped….And it really is a shame what’s happening with the Democrats.

‘This will go on for a while. Ultimately the American people will have their way because they want to see no crime,’ he said. ‘We’re all working very hard. We’ll have to respond to it. We’ll respond to it in a timely manner.’

Trump soon conceded that his address was being ‘canceled,’ and he pinned the blame on Pelosi personally in a second, unscheduled appearance before the press.  

‘So Nancy Pelosi, knowing these facts and knowing it’s something that she can’t win, that she just went out and said, “Let’s cancel, for the first time in the history of our country, let’s cancel the State of the Union address.” And it’s a disgrace,’ he said.

Trump noted that Pelosi invited him to make the address while the shutdown was underway. 

‘So the shutdown was going on. Now she’s blaming the shutdown. So if it was because of the shutdown, why do you ask that the address be made?’ he said. ‘She also knew, because she went to our people and she asked, “Would it be a security problem?” She knew it wasn’t a security problem. She blamed security, but she knew it wasn’t a security problem. And she knew that loud and clear.’

The president said that he went to Iraq during the shutdown and ‘felt very safe,’ because he had adequate security.

‘If we can handle Iraq, we can handle the middle of Washington and a very, very spectacular building and a beautiful room that we should be in, and that’s where it’s been for a very long time,’ he contended.

He went on to call the Democratic Party not just ‘radicalized’ but a ‘dangerous’ political movement that’s ran by Pelosi and not ‘puppet’ Sen. Chuck Schumer.

‘I think they’ve become a very dangerous, a very, very dangerous party for this country. I think that Chuck Schumer, sadly, is dominated by the radical left and he’s dominated by Nancy Pelosi. Very strongly dominated. He can’t move. He’s a puppet,’ Trump claimed. 

Pelosi maintained after she sent her letter to Trump that he is welcome to address Congress after the government shutdown has ended.

‘We have said very clearly from the start when I wrote to him the second time let’s work together on a mutual agreeable date we can welcome you to the Capitol to give the State of the Union address,’ she told reporters. ‘The government is still shutdown. I still make the offer of a mutually agreeable date – as the original date was mutually agreeable.’

Sen. Lindsey Graham, an ally of Trump’s, clobbered Pelosi in tweets.

‘Speaker Pelosi’s decision to ignore this long-standing American tradition is absurd, petty, and shameful. The judgement of history will NOT be kind,’ he said.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill contended that the address is not being canceled, because Trump is being invited to give it when the shutdown is over.

‘January 29th is not set by statute. It is not a sacred date. It is not the President’s birthday. President Trump can easily give a SOTU address when government has re-opened,’ he said in an online response to Graham.

The House speaker invited Trump January 3 to deliver the address to Congress on January 29. 

But she later backtracked, claiming security in the House chamber would be subpar during a government shutdown — a claim that the Department of Homeland Security disputed.

Trump insisted Wednesday that Pelosi’s objections were misplaced, writing that ‘there are no security concerns,’ according to both DHS and the Secret Service.

‘It would be so very sad for our Country if the State of the Union weren’t delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!’ he wrote in the letter informing her he’d be taking the floor on Jan. 29 based on her initial invitation.

Pelosi had signaled to members during a Wednesday caucus meeting that she did not expect the speech to take place, CNN reported — only to have the president publicly defy her in a letter the White House released publicly. 

Pelosi raised the stakes hours later in the letter telling Trump that he is not welcome in the House.

South Carolina Congressman Ralph Norman said in an interview on CNN that ‘the address will go on’ and that ‘it will be in another venue’ that the president will select. Perhaps, he said, in the U.S. Senate. 

Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway had ruled out a rally earlier in the day, in response to a question from DailyMail.com.

‘Why does the president need a rally, when he can, this is the State of the Union, why have a rally when he can go and address the entire country,’ she said. 

She asked what Democrats are ‘afraid’ of the president saying in the address ‘that you would deny the country the ability to hear its president.’

‘I think Nancy Pelosi is worried that some of her chamber won’t show up. That’s not an embarrassment to the president, that’s an embarrassment to her. They should be there,’ she said on the White House driveway after a TV appearance. ‘If they don’t want to applaud, they don’t want to stand, they don’t want to smile, they want to wear a certain color, yay, but show the dignity, and serve the people who elected you in your state, in your district and show up.’

She told a Fox News Channel audience that it would be ‘remarkably petty of the speaker to disinvite the President of the United States.’ 

She added that Pelosi is ‘going to have some explaining to do’ if she disinvites first lady Melania Trump and her guests.

‘The president intends to go to the chamber on Tuesday night to address our great nation and give them an update on the state of our union. It would be, I think, remarkably petty of the speaker to disinvite the President of the United States to address the nation that they both serve at the highest level,’ she said. 

Trump had been thought to be considering a rally on Tuesday in Texas but swatted back at Pelosi with his letter saying he will give the address in the House, as scheduled.

The president has the right to enter the House of Representatives at any time, but authority to speak is granted by lawmakers. And they have not passed a resolution granting it to him.

It comes in the form of a concurrent resolution that’s normally a formality.

Why President Trump can’t address Congress

President Trump could come to Congress on Jan. 29, if he wants. But it’s up to lawmakers, namely House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to determine whether or not he gets to speak.

The House and Senate must pass a concurrent resolution giving him the authority to address a Joint Session of Congress.

Usually, permission to deliver the State of the Union address is a formality. 

But this year, as the battle intensifies between the president and Democrats in Congress, it became complicated.

Neither chamber passed a resolution that Pelosi holds the power to bring to the floor giving the president permission to speak to the legislative body.

Pelosi said Wednesday that she won’t do it, and Trump must wait until the shutdown is over to deliver remarks. 

Even if the resolution were passed, it would have been up to Pelosi to determine whether the House would be in session at the time of Trump’s remarks. 

At the White House, speaking to reporters after her Fox appearance, Conway directed reporters to the president’s letter informing Pelosi that he would be delivering remarks to Joint Session of Congress on Jan. 29.

‘Why did she do that? Why did she issue an invitation, why did she lie about security concerns,’ Conway asked. ‘I mean honestly the secret service has referred to the president, even before he asked, that there are no security concerns.’  

It remained the White House’s hope that the government would be reopened by next week anyhow, as the Senate will vote Thursday on two separate bills that would immediately end the government shutdown: one of which would fully fund Trump’s border wall and another that will fund the closed agencies through February 8.  

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and top Senate Democrat Schumer announced the votes on the floor on Tuesday.

But neither bill is seen as having a strong chance of passing, increasing the odds that the government shutdown will continue into next week.  

Trump’s proposal may not making it over a 60-vote hump in the Senate, and the White House said Wednesday afternoon that the president would veto the Senate Democrats’ resolution to reopen the government. 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told Fox News that she ‘certainly hopes’ that Trump’s plan will pass on Thursday.


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President Trump gave Senate Republicans a slogan on Wednesday in an attempt to boil his argument for a border barrier down to its essence as they prepare for the showdown votes.

‘BUILD A WALL & CRIME WILL FALL!’ the president tweeted. ‘This is the new theme, for two years until the Wall is finished (under construction now), of the Republican Party. Use it and pray!’ 

Trump’s framing of his new project-branding campaign as a two-year effort suggests he intends it to be a 2020 slogan, which suggests he expects the battle over his signature campaign promise to be a long one. 

He has been relentless in pushin his long-promised U.S.-Mexico wall as a tool for stopping drug trafficking and a string of high-profile murders linked to illegal immigrants.

He tweeted Wednesday that there is ‘[g]reat unity in the Republican Party,’ and declared that GOp senators ‘[w]ant to, once and for all, put an end to stoppable crime and drugs! Border Security and Wall. No doubt!’    

‘Build the wall & crime will fall,’ Trump tweeted on Wednesday as the U.S. Senate gears up for a pair of test votes Thursday on reopening the government

Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell announced  a plan to vote on bills to end the shutdown

He and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer made a joint appearance on the Senate floor to announce Thursday’s vote on a pair of competing bills

The offer to hold votes on competing bills shows the pressure lawmakers are feeling the heat to reopen the federal government.  

As it stands, the Senate will vote at 2:30 p.m. Thursday on back-to-back measures: the first vote will be on Trump’s proposal that includes temporary protection to DACA recipients and gives him the $5.7 billion he needs to build his border wall. 

A second vote on House Democrats’ bill to temporarily re-open the government until February 8 to allow paychecks to go out while legislators negotiate a resolution on border security funding. It does not include the funding for the president’s wall.

Each leader praised his respective party’s plan in floor remarks.

‘To reject this proposal, Democrats would have to prioritize political combat with the president ahead of federal workers, ahead of DACA recipients, ahead of border security, and ahead of stable and predictable government funding. Is that really a price that Democrats want to pay to prolong this episode, which they say they want to be over and done with?’ McConnell said of the president’s proposal. 

Schumer said his party’s plan will allow the debate to continue ‘without hostage taking, without temper tantrum, without anything’ for two weeks of negotiations.

‘So if you’re looking for a way to open up the government, this is the way,’ Schumer said of the second vote on the Democratic proposal,’ he argued.

Both measures will need 60 votes to advance in the legislative process — an uphill battle that will be hard for the bills to beat.  

If Democrats withhold their support from the motion to proceed to Trump’s plan, which comes to the floor first, and Republicans do not lend their support to the second measure, the shutdown will continue with no conceivable way forward.

Trump outlined his plan to end the government shutdown in a Saturday address, offering congressional Democrats three years of legislative relief for 700,000 DACA recipients — including protection from deportation — and an extension of legal residence for people living in the country under ‘Temporary Protective Status’ designations.

DACA refers to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which offered a no-deportation guarantee to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants whose parents brought them into the U.S. as minors. 

TPS is a Justice Department program that grants residency and work permits to people from 10 countries affected by natural disasters or brutal armed conflicts. They include El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, South Sudan and Yemen.

When the measure was formally unveiled Monday night it also included several changes to asylum law that would make it more difficult for people to seek refuge from persecution in their home countries, though.

Democratic congressional leaders, who had already rejected the president’s offer, were outraged. Schumer called the changes to asylum law a ‘poison pen’ that will keep the bill that would fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year from being passed. 

One measure would fully fund President Trump’s border wall 

For 33 days, the partial government shutdown has put federal agencies on shoestring operations, as most federal workers in the Departments of Transportation, State, Justice and even the White House endure severe furloughs. 

Friday is pay day for federal workers whose agencies were funded through a separate agreement last year. For workers and shuttered departments, however, it will second pay cycle in which they are not paid.   

After an appearance on CBNC, which he did from the White House press briefing room on Tuesday , the president’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said the administration understands the ‘hardship’ that federal workers are facing and has been working diligently to reopen the government.

‘I don’t want to belittle it. No one likes the hardship that people are having to shoulder. I understand that, including myself. I have young people on my staff who are concerned, I get that,’ he said. 

The senior White House official who is also working without pay said, ‘The president made a very strong statement on Saturday, and we’re waiting, for Democrats to come to the table, and show their share of the negotiations. Ok? We’re waiting for them,’ he said. ‘We have to solve this. Literally, the fate of the nation hinges on this.’ 

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