Trump delivered an 80-minute State of the Union address, taking a victory lap on his claimed accomplishments without mentioning impeachment

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  • President Donald Trump delivered his third annual State of the Union address on Tuesday.
  • His national address came less than two months after the House charged him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress and a day before the Senate was set to end his impeachment trial with an acquittal, something Trump did not mention.
  • The president defended his record and celebrated what he described as his achievements, particularly the state of the economy, in a speech designed to lay out his path to reelection.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump delivered his third annual State of the Union address on Tuesday night, less than two months after the House charged him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress and a day before the Senate was set to end his impeachment trial with an acquittal.

The president, who did not mention impeachment during the speech, defended his record and celebrated what he described as his achievements, particularly the state of the economy. At a meeting with news anchors on Tuesday, Trump said his fourth address to a joint session of Congress would be “low key.”

The president touted a “great American comeback,” three years after decrying “American carnage” in his inauguration speech.

“In just three short years, we have shattered the mentality of American decline, and we have rejected the downsizing of America’s destiny,” Trump said. “We are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago, and we are never going back!”

Trump has been boosted by strong poll numbers in recent days.A Gallup poll released Tuesday showed Trump with the highest approval rating of his presidency amid the Senate impeachment trial.

Two Democrats delivered the party’s official response following Trump’s address. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan focused her speech on the economy, and Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas delivered an address in Spanish highlighting the president’s anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric.

“It doesn’t matter what the president says about the stock market,” Whitmer said in her prepared speech, The New York Times reported. “What matters is that millions of people struggle to get by or don’t have enough money at the end of the month after paying for transportation, student loans, or prescription drugs.”

Follow along below for a recap:


Female members of the House and the Senate largely wear white

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Most Democratic women from the House and the Senate wore white to Trump’s State of the Union address as a nod to the suffragette movement.


Trump snubs Pelosi by denying her a handshake

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Pelosi reached out to shake the president’s hand, and Trump snubbed her by turning away without a greeting.

The House speaker looked somewhat surprised and bemused as he walked away to begin his address.


Trump touts the economy

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Trump spent the first several minutes of his speech boasting about the US economy.

“In just three short years, we have shattered the mentality of American decline and we have rejected the downsizing of America’s destiny,” Trump said. “We are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago, and we are never going back.”


Trump exaggerates his military investments, claiming ‘our military is completely rebuilt’

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Trump claimed his administration had “completely rebuilt” the military. The statement is an exaggeration – the US military still has outdated equipment, as noted by The New York Times.

Trump also said his administration had “invested a record-breaking $US2.2 trillion in the United States military.” The figure is closer to $US2.1 trillion, and Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush each spent more on the military between 2007 and 2012 than Trump had.


Trump awards the conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom

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Trump invited the conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, an outspoken supporter of his, as his guest to the address, just a day after Limbaugh announced he had advanced lung cancer.

Trump had announced earlier Tuesday that he would award Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The first lady, Melania Trump, bestowed the award on the radio host during Trump’s address.

Limbaugh is a polarising figure with a long history of making racist comments, among other controversial statements.


Trump celebrates the killings of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Iranian general Qassem Soleimani

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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Associated Press

Trump talked about the recent US assassinations of the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

The president honoured Carl and Marsha Mueller, whose daughter Kayla was killed while being held hostage by al-Baghdadi. He also honoured Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Hake, who was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb that Trump said was planted by Soleimani’s forces.


Trump stages reunion of military family

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Trump invited Amy Williams, whose husband, Sgt. 1st Class Townsend Williams, was deployed to Afghanistan.

He surprised Amy Williams by bring her husband home – and to the address – on Tuesday.

“Amy’s kids have not seen their father’s face in many months,” Trump said. “Amy, your family’s sacrifice makes it possible for all of our families to live in safety and peace – we thank you.”


Nancy Pelosi rips up a copy of Trump’s speech

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At the end of Trump’s address, Pelosi ripped up a printed copy of his speech and tossed it aside as the president left the lectern to applause from the chamber.

The stunning rebuke from Pelosi came after Trump appeared to snub the House speaker when she attempted to shake his hand before his speech.

As she exhibited the chamber on Tuesday, Pelosi told reporters she ripped up the speech because “it was the the courteous thing to do considering the alternatives.”