Donald Trump's State of the Union address: Key developments

The US President said he was working to end America's wars in the Middle East

US President Donald Trump delivered his third State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, as he awaits a forthcoming impeachment vote that is expected to keep him in office.

Here are the key developments from his address:

Economy

Facing re-election in November, Mr Trump’s address resembled a campaign speech as he spoke of the “great American comeback,” and boasted about economic growth and job gains that are a result of initiatives launched by former President Barack Obama. Last week, the US government reported the 2019 economy grew at its slowest pace in three years.

Middle East

“We are working to end America’s wars in the Middle East,” Mr Trump said during his address as he spoke about bringing troops home from American’s longest standing war in Afghanistan. “It is also not our function to serve other nations as a law enforcement agency,” he said.

Yet Mr Trump also used the speech to tout the US operations that killed the commander of Iran's Quds Force, Maj Gen Qassem Suleimani and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In an effort to legitimise the highly criticised killing of Suleimani, Mr Trump's guests included Kelli and Gage Hake, the wife and son of Sgt Christopher Hake, who the White House says was killed by a roadside bomb supplied by Suleimani.

The parents of Kayla Mueller were also in attendance, as Mr Trump recounted the death of the humanitarian that was held captive and killed by ISIS in 2015.

Pelosi Snub

Partisan tensions were at a high on Tuesday evening, as Mr Trump appeared to snub House Leader Nancy Pelosi when she extended her hand to him before the address. After the speech ended, Ms Pelosi was seen ripping up a physical copy of the address. Immediately following the address, Ms Pelosi told NBC she ripped up the speech because "it was the courteous thing to do, considering the alternative."

As Pelosi's dramatic move captured attention on social media, the official White House Twitter account responded: "Speaker Pelosi just ripped up: One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen. The survival of a child born at 21 weeks. The mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller. A service member's reunion with his family. That's her legacy."

Medal of Freedom

In an unprecedented move, Mr Trump awarded a medal of freedom during the State of the Union, to conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh, who was recently diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.

Trump's Word Cloud

 
 

The full text of the State of the Union is available here

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