Washington (January 30, 2018): Seeking to move past the shadow of the Russia investigation, President Donald Trump intends to use his first State of the Union address to cite economic progress under his watch while pushing for bipartisanship with Democrats on issues such as rebuilding roads and bridges.
The White House said Sunday that the president would point to a robust economy and low unemployment during his first year and the benefits of a tax overhaul during Tuesday’s address to Congress and the nation. Aides have said Trump, who stayed at the White House over the weekend as he prepared, is expected to set aside his more combative tone for one of compromise and bipartisanship.“The president is going to talk about how America’s back,” White House legislative director Marc Short said.
Short said Trump would urge Democrats to support additional military spending in light of “dramatic threats on the global scene.”
White House officials have said the theme of the annual address will be “building a safe, strong and proud America” and that Trump was looking to showcase the accomplishments of his first year while setting the tone for the second.As Trump looks ahead, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible obstruction of justice and Trump campaign ties to Russian meddling in the 2016 election grinds on.
It often has distracted from the president’s message. For example, Trump’s address to financial and global leaders in Davos, Switzerland, last week followed reports that he ordered a top White House lawyer to fire Mueller last June but backed off when the lawyer threatened to resign. Trump called the report “fake news.”On the policy front, immigration is an immediate flashpoint for Trump and Congress. In the prime-time speech Tuesday, the president plans to promote his proposal for $25 billion for a wall along the Mexican border and for a path to citizenship for nearly 2 million young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children.