The Latest: Trump plans to deliver address, ‘ sad’ to delay
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address (all times local):
President Donald Trump says he is planning to deliver his State of the Union address next week in front of a joint session of Congress — despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request that he delay.
Trump issued a letter to Pelosi on Wednesday. In it he dismisses her suggestion the speech should be postponed or delivered in writing due to security issues related to the partial government shutdown. Declaring there are “no security concerns,” Trump says he will fulfill his “Constitutional duty.”
Trump adds that it would be “so very sad” for the country if the address is not given as planned on Jan. 29.
Pelosi last week cited the impact of the ongoing shutdown on the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the agencies were prepared to support the speech.
The White House is proceeding with plans for President Donald Trump to deliver his State of the Union speech in front of a joint session of Congress on Tuesday without knowing whether Democrats will let him have that stage.
Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, even as officials continued to work on a backup plan to have the president speak somewhere else.
The White House emailed the House sergeant-at-arms asking to schedule a walk-through in anticipation of the speech, according to a White House official who was not authorized to discuss the planning publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The move is the latest in a game of brinkmanship between Trump and the House speaker as they remain locked in an increasingly personal standoff over Trump’s demand for border wall money that has forced a partial government shutdown that is now in its second month.
The president cannot speak in front of a joint session of Congress without both chambers’ explicit permission.