Democratic women gave Trump a surprising standing ovation during the State of the Union after the president celebrated the historic achievements of American women

  • Democratic women lawmakers gave President Donald Trump a rare standing ovation during his Tuesday night State of the Union address when Trump mentioned women’s gains in 2018.
  • Trump cited the job gains made by women in the past year and the record number of women serving in the US Congress.
  • Scores of Democratic congresswomen wore white on Tuesday evening to express “solidarity” with each other and the nation’s women while attending President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in the Capitol.
  • Follow along with all of INSIDER’s coverage of the State of the Union here.

Democratic women lawmakers gave President Donald Trump a surprise standing ovation during his Tuesday night State of the Union address after the president highlighted women’s gains in 2018.

“No one has benefitted more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58% of the new jobs created in the last year,” Trump said.

As applause broke out, the majority of female lawmakers on the Democratic side of the House floor stood to cheer.

“You weren’t supposed to do that!” Trump quipped. “Don’t sit yet, you’re going to like this.”

He added, “All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before – and exactly one century after the Congress passed the Constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in the Congress than ever before.”

For most of the speech, the Democratic women sat quietly as Trump leaned on many conservative policies such as the border wall and opposition to abortion, but the president’s explicit appeal to female voters got a strong response from the group.

But women’s rights advocates took issue with other statements Trump made about women in his speech, including when he said that one in three migrant women are sexually assaulted during their journey from Latin America to the US-Mexico border.

“A man who brags about grabbing women’s genitalia and appoints Cabinet members to strip Title IX protections from survivors does not get to weaponize women’s trauma to promote a racist border agenda,” the National Women’s Law Center tweeted.

Nearly all of the Democratic women in the chamber on Tuesday wore white to stand in “solidarity” with each other and the nation’s women. One GOP lawmaker, Rep. Elise Stefanik, also wore white.

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