State of the Union 2020: Trump addresses nation just before expected acquittal by Senate

Author: CBS News
President Donald Trump speaks during an “Evangelicals for Trump Coalition Launch” at King Jesus International Ministry, Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

President Trump is delivering the final State of the Union address of his first term Tuesday, as the Senate is expected to acquit him of the two articles of impeachment passed by the House in December.

Any mention of Mr. Trump’s impeachment during the speech “is not currently planned,” a senior White House adviser involved in the State of the Union told CBS News.

The president will be addressing a nation that largely feels positive about the state of the economy and his handling of it, though more Americans at this point feel that he has divided the country than united it.

The Senate, which will be in session Tuesday to allow senators to express their views on the impeachment trial, will adjourn early Tuesday for the joint address to Congress. It is not expected to hold the final vote on Mr. Trump’s acquittal until Wednesday.

Trump plans to offer “vision of relentless optimism” in address 

The White House says the president’s tone will be one of optimism — that Mr. Trump will deliver the message that the state of the nation is better than ever. The senior administration official who briefed reporters said the theme of the president’s speech is the “Great American Comeback,” offering the country a “vision of relentless optimism” by celebrating the nation’s economic and military strength.

That will include talking up blue-collar successes, the China trade deal and U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement. He’ll also emphasize claims that his administration is working to lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs. He’s expected to bring up more controversial matters too, like sanctuary cities and his administration’s crackdown on illegal immigrants.

The president has some data to back up his economic message. The unemployment rate is historically low, although the workforce participation rate is still low. Drug overdose deaths dropped for the first time in two years, a bright spot for a country that has seen the opioid epidemic destroy families and ravage communities. The president also has the deaths of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Islamic military general Qasem Soleimani to tout, although military readiness issues such as old equipment continue to plague the country’s military branches, according to the Government Accountability Office. Reflecting the president’s rhetorical emphasis on the military, one of his guests will be Army veteran Tony Rankins.


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