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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Wednesday night he is postponing his State of the Union address until the partial government shutdown ends, yielding after a weeklong showdown with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Following a high-stakes game of dare and double-dare, Trump conceded that “no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber” and that he was not looking for an alternate option after Pelosi served notice earlier Wednesday that he won’t be allowed to deliver the address to a joint session of Congress next week.

Pelosi had taken the step after Trump said he planned to show up in spite of Democratic objections to the speech taking place with large swaths of the government shut down.

Denied that grand venue, Trump promised to come up with some sort of alternative event. The White House scrambled to find a site matching the gravitas of the traditional address from the rostrum of the House to lawmakers from both parties, Supreme Court justices, invited guests and a television audience of millions.

“As the Shutdown was going on, Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address. I agreed,” Trump tweeted. “She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date. This is her prerogative – I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over.”

Fireworks over the speech shot back and forth between the Capitol and the White House as the monthlong partial government shutdown showed no signs of ending and about 800,000 federal workers faced the prospect of going without their second paycheck in a row come Friday.

Pelosi told Trump the House wouldn’t approve a resolution allowing him to address Congress until the shutdown ended. Trump shot back that Pelosi was afraid of hearing the truth.

“I think that’s a great blotch on the incredible country that we all love,” Trump said earlier Wednesday. “It’s a great, great horrible mark.”

The drama surrounding the State of the Union address began last week when Pelosi asked Trump to make other plans but stopped short of denying him the chamber for his address. Trump called her bluff Wednesday in a letter, saying he intended to come anyway.

“It would be so very sad for our Country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location,” he wrote.

Pelosi quickly squelched the speech, writing back that the House “will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber until government has opened.”

The president cannot speak in front of a joint session of Congress without both chambers’ explicit permission. A resolution needs to be approved by both chambers specifying the date and time for receiving an address from the president.

The gamesmanship unfolded as the Senate prepared to vote this week on dueling proposals on the shutdown. A Republican one would give Trump money for the wall while one from Democrats would re-open government through Feb. 8, with no wall money, giving bargainers time to talk about it.

Both proposals were likely to fail to reach the 60-vote threshold needed in the Senate, where Republicans hold a 53-47 majority. As well, House Democrats were putting forward a new proposal, aiming to lure Trump away from his demand for a border wall by offering billions of new dollars for other border security measures.

The Constitution states only that the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union,” meaning the president can speak anywhere he chooses or give his update in writing. The address has been delayed before.

Ronald Reagan’s 1986 State of the Union address was postponed after the Challenger space shuttle exploded in flight on Jan. 28 of that year.

But there is no precedent for a State of the Union invitation being rescinded.

Presidents Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Jimmy Carter issued their final messages in print. As Eisenhower recovered from a heart attack in 1956, he prepared a seven-minute, filmed summary of the message from his retreat in Key West, Florida, that was broadcast nationwide. Richard Nixon sent a printed message in 1973; his staff said an oral message would have come too soon after his second inaugural address.

White House officials have been working on a backup plan to have Trump give the speech somewhere else if Democrats blocked access to the House chamber. Nevertheless, they were rattled by Pelosi’s move Wednesday and expressed concern it would further sour shutdown negotiations.

Officials have been considering a speech in the Senate chamber and a visit to a state on the southern border. Multiple versions of the speech were being drafted to suit the final venue. Trump has been presented with a series of options for making the address and is expected to decide within the next day or so, said a person familiar with White House discussions but not authorized to speak publicly about them.

Pelosi said that when she extended her Jan. 3 invitation to Trump to deliver the State of the Union address on Jan. 29, there was no thought that the government would still be shut down.

She wrote Wednesday: “I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when government has been opened.”

Moments after her letter became public, Trump told reporters he wasn’t surprised by Pelosi’s action. Democrats have become “radicalized,” he claimed. He expanded on those sentiments during a subsequent event at the White House, calling the cancellation a “disgrace” and asserting that Pelosi didn’t want to hear the truth about the need for better border security.

The White House and Democratic lawmakers have been accusing one another of pettiness since Pelosi raised doubts about the speech. Trump followed up by revoking her use of a military plane for a congressional delegation visit to Afghanistan.

North Carolina’s House speaker, Tim Moore, invited Trump to deliver the speech in the North Carolina House chamber. Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield has offered his state capitol. Trump spoke with both of them this week, according to Moore’s office and a tweet from Chatfield.


Associated Press writers Darlene Superville, Andrew Taylor, Laurie Kellman, Jill Colvin and Zeke Miller contributed to this report.




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23 thoughts on “Trump Says He’ll Give State of Union After Shutdown Ends

  1. Passing Through: Stop wasting your time, and energy responding to fake ‘A’ Mrknowitall (unpaid troll). If I were to troll I would have to get paid some coins, and Benjamins LOL

  2. People please don’t wait with bated breath. Part 2 of Trump’s clown act will surely be coming soon. No telling what he says next. And the other clown act is Rudy Giuliani. The man loves fronting for Trump, and has mad some of the most ridiculous comments in the last several months

  3. Mrknowitall on said:

    Elvira Pelosi grabs the gavel like a dildo and has that Twisted look at her eyes. There’s something going on with her. She needs di¿k.

  4. Beatrice Brown on said:

    To hell with Trump and his money.and he not even the richest man in the world.He’s a wanna be bully.Can’t wait till they kick his ASS! to the curb.If this had been Obama they wouldn’t play this game with him not 5 minutes.

    • Phoenix Rising on said:

      Nancy is using her gavel to wield her mighty power as SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, and as Willie just stated…”bitch slapped” that orange mofo with it.
      Oh, and this here….”Maybe women aren’t good leaders because they have mood cycles. Don’t give her the power of the atomic bomb.”

  5. Mrknowitall on said:

    Nancy “Elvira” Pelosi thinks the gavel is a rattle. She is throwing a temper tantrum. Maybe women aren’t good leaders because they have mood cycles. Don’t give her the power of the atomic bomb.

  6. Phoenix Rising on said:

    That orange bloated 72 year old man baby is crying in his spoiled milk. “Ms. Nancy is mean, and won’t let me play in her building.” “Earlier, she told me I could, now she said “no.” It’s not fair! ” “I don’t want to play anymore so, I’m taking my toys, and going home.”

  7. REPUBLICAN MEN WON’t STAND-UP TO TRUMP…Look at Paul Ryan, when the going gets tough, he quits. Look at Mitch McConnell; yes Master Trump. A Democratic WOMAN has stood-up to Trump! & PREVAILED!!

  8. Mrknowitall on said:

    So far, so called diversity has failed America . No diversity of ideas from the demokkkrats. I see women & minorities being told so shut up & obey the white power structure, “miss Nancy & matriarch” figures. I see slave mentality. Why aren’t black demokkkrats standing up to protect their out of work people? Women & blacks obeying the new slave masters. #StaySleep

    • @u knw nothing at all. Ppl are protesting in the streets in McConnell’s office, where he’s hiding from them. This is on 45 and his enabling thug senators. Thrump’s poll numbers are taking a big hit. GOOD!!!

      • Mrknowitall on said:

        People are protesting because know one is representing them. Miss Nancy & the white matriarch Schumer are more interested in listening to their rich white campaign doners then helping the working Americans. The white matriarch said it best; “elections have consequences”. & their voters are paying the price. #StaySleep

      • Passing Through!! on said:

        Your entire post is stupid as hell. How are democrats protecting people from a shut down that they didn’t start to begin with? 45 has put 800,000 people out of work over a non-emergency issue like a wall, he’s doing this at the direction of fox news, Anne (crazy) Coulter and Rush Linbaugh. Too stupid to govern taking advice from a news network and other racist taking heads, that’s why he will continue to fail. Under the Obama administration, the yearly apprehensions on the Southwest border declined by 35 percent from calendar year 2008, the year before President Obama took office, through the end of 2016 and still on the decline. Most illegal immigration doesn’t even come from Mexico.

      • D: I don’t give a you know what about Trump’s poll numbers. What I know is that he is on a slippery (pole/poll) slope right now, and about to fall off LOL

  9. The State of the Nation is TERRIBLE!!!!!

    Therefore, it is NO need for the Clown-In-Chief to go on the idiot box and say otherwise.

    What his dumbass needs to do is–SIT down with both the GOP/DEMS and come to an
    agreement that will end the gov’t shutdown!!!!!!!!!

    Minus any $$$ for that damn WALL. If Chump wants the wall-HE SHOULD WRITE A CHECK and PAY FOR IT HIMSELF!!!!!!!!!!!

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