President Agrees to Deliver State of the Union Speech After Government Is Reopened

After being disinvited by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Donald Trump agreed to postpone his State of the Union address and deliver it after the partial government shutdown has ended.

“As the Shutdown was going on, Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address. I agreed. 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,” President Trump said in a Wednesday tweet.

Trump added in his tweet that he was not looking for another venue for his speech, as no other “venue can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber,” and added that he was looking forward to delivering a “great” address in the near future.

Pelosi reacted to the President’s tweet by saying that she hoped “near future” meant Trump “will support the House-passed package to #EndTheShutdown that the Senate will vote on tomorrow.” She further called on Trump to accept the proposal to open the government, repay the 800,000 federal workers and then negotiate border security.

CNN reports that the House speaker formally disinvited Trump from giving the address from the House chamber, catching White House officials off guard.

Pelosi initially cited security concerns in asking the President not to deliver his SOTU address while the government remains closed. The Trump administration interpreted that original letter as a mere political bluff on Pelosi’s side and planned to have the President deliver the address regardless. However, the Democrat’s second letter in which she disinvites the President from delivering his speech from the House Chamber, left officials scrambling for a response.

Before the President’s tweet on Wednesday, administration officials considered several options for his State of the Union address, including a rally, which they quickly dismissed as the President often gets off message during such events. Officials also looked again at the Oval Office and at other venues in the White House, but the Oval Office was a tough sell for Trump, since he disliked the last address he made from there and the polls showed it changed zero minds, CNN also writes.

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