Trump delivers State of the Union address to Congress

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Trump delivers State of the Union address to Congress

Photo from NY Daily News

Photo from NY Daily News

Photo from NY Daily News

Darren Mikus, World News Editor

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President Donald Trump delivered the State of the Union for 2019 on Tuesday, promising to cooperate with Congressional leaders if they reject “revenge, resistance and retribution.”

Trump reiterated his stance on the construction of a southern border wall with Mexico, stating that illegal immigration was an existential threat to many Americans.

“I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and to our country,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

During the televised address, Trump also commented on the state of the U.S.’s military interventions abroad, including Iraq and Afghanistan, stating that diplomatic negotiations were beginning with elements of the Taliban.

He also called out various federal investigations, which notably resulted in the arrest of Roger Stone last week.

“If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation,” he said.

Trump’s State of the Union inaugurated the second half of his term in office, which began Jan. 20, 2017. His speech sought to consolidate Republican support that had eroded slightly during the government shutdown.

Trump mentioned moments of recent American history, celebrating the moon landing as astronaut Buzz Aldrin looked on from the audience and heralding the liberation of Europe from the Nazis. He led the House chamber in singing happy birthday to a Holocaust survivor sitting with first lady Melania Trump.

“Together, we represent the most extraordinary nation in all of history. What will we do with this moment? How will we be remembered?” Trump said.

During various points of the speech, Republicans would stand and clap during Trump’s brief breaks from speaking. Democrats were generally silent and sitting, though some Democrats did rise during Trump’s comments on women in the Congress, remarking that since women won the right to vote in 1920, the current Congress had the most women representatives and senators.

Improving infrastructure, lowering prescription drug prices and tackling AIDS and childhood cancer were among Trump’s policy proposals. But he also appealed to his political base, both with his rhetoric on immigration and by condemning “late-term abortion of children.”

Trump also mentioned a planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam this year.

“If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea,” he said.

Commenting on political turmoil in Venezuela,  Trump said, “America will never be a socialist country” — a statement that may also have been targeted at high-profile Democrats who identify as democratic socialists.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence, who is president of the Senate, sat behind President Trump as he delivered his speech. At just over an hour and a half, it was the longest State of the Union address since President Bill Clinton’s 2000 address.

Editor’s Note: Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.