Partisanship on full display before Trump speech

Jermaine Castillo
February 6, 2019

Trump's guests for the speech include Anna Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old woman whose life sentence for drug offenses was commuted by the president, and Joshua Trump, a sixth-grade student from Wilmington, Delaware, who was allegedly bullied because of his last name.

"Really right now the choice is we either stick with Pelosi or stick with the president". Yet, a senior administration official told reporters to expect a "traditional" address from a president who is anything but traditional.

A file photograph of US President Donald Trump at a rally at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi.

While Trump was still putting the final touches on the speech Tuesday afternoon, he was expected to use some of his televised address to showcase a growing economy.

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told reporters February 4 that the president had the "absolute right to declare a national emergency".

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Trump's guest list includes Alice Marie Johnson, whose life sentence was commuted by the president a year ago.

With the budget deadline approaching and Democrats refusing to compromise on funding for a border wall, President Trump is promising to secure the border by sending thousands more soldiers in lieu of an actual barrier.

Meanwhile, Democrats are sending a message with their invited guests, especially those who are running in the 2020 election. Sen.

That prompted Pelosi to send another letter to the president, this time more forceful in her language.

Through his first two years in office, Trump has received a major boost due to generally strong economic numbers.

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Trump also appealed for unity in much of his address previous year - only to revert to his attacks against Democrats, on Twitter and elsewhere, within days of the speech. 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. The state of the Trump healthcare system is failing American families.

The first lady's Be Best campaign, announced in May 2018, aims to combat bullying.

The high likelihood that the speech will simply retread the main themes of the Trump administration - brown people are coming to kill you and Trump is entitled to obeisance - has made it tough for the White House to drum up much public or media interest in the speech.

Mr Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney went over the speech on Monday night with about a dozen supporters including former campaign aides Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, as well as Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, a source familiar with the meeting said.

According to an excerpt, the President will say: "Together, we can break decades of political stalemate, we can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions and unlock the extraordinary promise of America's future".

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