Trump delivers 2019 State of the Union address — live updates – CBS News

Trump’s speech runs about 5,000 words

7:12 p.m.: President Trump’s speech runs about 5,000 words — easily an hour in length, depending upon the applause he receives. Aides say chief White House speechwriter Stephen Miller started drafting the address three weeks ago. Counselor Kellyanne Conway, daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner weighed in throughout the process. The president spent about four to five hours on practice sessions and revisions yesterday and several more hours today.

The biggest goal of the speech is finding a bipartisan opening, if possible, to set a new tone between the White House and Democrats. Coming of the nation’s longest government shutdown and facing the prospect of another in just 11 days, Mr. Trump knows this State of the Union address could have a short shelf life. He’ll call for unity and reaching for greatness, themes that are sure to ring hollow if government offices close down again on Feb. 15.

Republicans have little appetite for a second shutdown. The White House has expressed some optimism lawmakers can strike a deal by Friday, giving the president some, but not all, of the wall funding he seeks.

“More cooperation and unity. Less divisiveness. There is a divided government, but that does not mean they cannot work together,” said Conway earlier today.

The president will push for legislation to reduce prescription drug prices, approve the rewritten trade deal with Mexico and Canada and revive the bipartisan deal to spend billions on new roads, bridges, runways and ports. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders suggested infrastructure “is one of the easiest” areas for bipartisan agreement.

“Everybody in this country knows we have crumbling bridges and roads that need to be fixed,” she said today.

The president will push Congress again for funding for a barrier along the southern border, though he is not expected to declare a national emergency tonight that could free up billions without congressional approval. Sanders said Mr. Trump is “as committed today as he’s ever been to making sure we get real border security that includes a wall, and he’ll make that case tonight.”

Mr. Trump will have to temper his rhetoric about victory over ISIS this evening. While he’s expected to celebrate substantial progress against the terror group in Iraq and Syria, defense officials have warned ISIS could regroup after U.S. forces leave. Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of Central Command, said the U.S. needs to maintain pressure on ISIS. “It is a resilient network,” he said. “It does have certain components that are still left in it.”

Reporting by Major Garrett


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