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National Govt & Politics
The Latest: Trump speech leads to 4.5 million tweets
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The Latest: Trump speech leads to 4.5 million tweets

The Latest: Trump speech leads to 4.5 million tweets
Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Pool via AP
President Donald Trump signs a hat after finishing the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, in Washington. (Win McNamee/Pool via AP)

The Latest: Trump speech leads to 4.5 million tweets

The Latest on President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech (all times local):

11:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump's first State of the Union is the most-tweeted joint address to Congress ever, according to Twitter.

The social network says 4.5 million tweets were sent around the annual event, surpassing last year's record of 3 million for Trump's first address to Congress — which wasn't technically a State of the Union.

According to the platform, the most tweeted moment of the speech came as Trump waded into the culture wars over racial injustice protests and the national anthem. That was followed by his discussion of his immigration reform proposal and his condemnation of the international criminal gang MS-13.

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11 p.m.

Liberal icon Bernie Sanders is blasting President Donald Trump for what he did not say during his State of the Union address.

The 2016 presidential candidate used his Facebook page to broadcast his own retort to Trump at the same time Massachusetts Rep. Joseph Kennedy III offered the Democratic Party's official response.

Sanders notes Trump didn't mention Social Security or Medicare, despite promises as a candidate to protect the popular programs.

The Vermont senator also cites wealth inequality and climate change as fundamental threats Trump failed to address.

Sanders recalls Trump touting his commitment to clean air and clean water. The senator says he struggled "not to laugh out loud" in the House chamber.

Sanders is still deciding whether to run for president again in 2020.

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10:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address clocked in at one hour and 20 minutes.

According to the American Presidency Project, that makes Trump's speech one of the longest State of the Union addresses in recent presidential history.

President Bill Clinton's final State of the Union speech in January 2000 ran longer than Trump's at just over an hour and 28 minutes.

Clinton delivered another lengthy State of the Union address — an hour and 24 minutes — in January 1995.

Trump spoke for exactly one hour last year when he addressed a joint session of Congress, but that was not a State of the Union address.

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10:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says his administration is waging a "maximum pressure" campaign to prevent North Korea's "reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles" from threatening the U.S. homeland.

Trump says that threat could be a reality soon. He says past U.S. experience with North Korea shows that "complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation."

Trump is praising Ji Seong-ho, who is attending the State of the Union speech. Ji was born in North Korea and lost limbs in a train accident before defecting to South Korea, where he helps other defectors. Trump says his "great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all."

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10:22 p.m.

President Donald Trump is commemorating Otto Warmbier as makes the point about the dangers posed by North Korea.

Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor after being convicted of subversion. He tearfully confessed he had tried to steal a propaganda banner.

The University of Virginia student was held for more than 17 months and medically evacuated from North Korea. He returned with severe brain damage and died shortly after his return.

Trump recognized Warmbier's parents during his State of the Union address. As he did so, Fred and Cindy Warmbier were moved to tears.

Trump calls them "powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world."

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10:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump says his administration is waging a "maximum pressure" campaign to prevent North Korea's "reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles" from threatening the U.S. homeland.

Trump says that threat could be a reality soon. He says past U.S. experience with North Korea shows that "complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation."

Trump is praising the parents of American college student Otto Warmbier, who died shortly after being released from detention in North Korea. His parents are attending Trump's State of the Union address.

Also attending is Ji Seong-ho, who was born in North Korea and lost limbs in a train accident before defecting to South Korea, where he helps other defectors. Trump says his "great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all."

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10:22 p.m.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is extending her hands to try quieting Democratic colleagues as they groan after President Donald Trump's call for ending "chain migration."

For many lawmakers, the reference is offensive. They say it discredits an immigration system that is family-centric, one in which immigrants are allowed family members to the country.

Trump is calling his immigration proposals a "down-the-middle compromise," prompting brief laughter from Democratic lawmakers.

Trump has prefaced his calls for an immigration overhaul by highlighting the threat posed by MS-13, the violent street gang with Central American ties.

He is capping his immigration remarks by saying, "let us come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done."

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10:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump says "unmatched power" is the surest defense against threats from rogue regimes, terrorist groups and rivals like China and Russia.

He says that's why he's asking Congress to remove budget caps on defense spending and fully fund the U.S. military.

The president says the U.S. defense must also include a nuclear weapons arsenal so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression.

Trump says that maybe someday will come a "magical moment" when nations of the world will unite and eliminate their nuclear weapons.

But he says, "We are not there yet."

Trump has threatened to use military force to deter North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons. He also has boasted that he has a bigger nuclear "button" than North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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10:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says his government needs "all necessary power" to detain terrorists "wherever we chase them down."

Trump signed an order earlier Tuesday directing his defense secretary to re-examine the U.S. military detention policy and to keep the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, open.

Trump says that, "In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds and hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield."

He adds: "Terrorists are not merely criminals. They are unlawful enemy combatants." He says that when they are captured overseas, they should be treated like "the terrorists they are."

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10:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump is calling on Congress to "set politics aside" and overhaul the nation's immigration system during his State of the Union speech.

Trump is blaming "deadly loopholes" and "open borders" for allowing drugs and gangs "to pour into our most vulnerable communities"

He's highlighting his case with the stories of two families whose daughters were killed by members of the MS-13 gang.

Trump tells the families that "320 million hearts" are breaking as he shares their stories with the nation.

Trump's plan would provide a path to citizenship for nearly 2 million young immigrants living in the country illegally. It would also severely limit legal immigration and provide $25 billion for his promised border wall.

Trump says his plan "will create a safe, modern and lawful immigration system."

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10 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he's committed to the "long and difficult" fight against the epidemic of opioid and drug addiction.

He is predicting in his State of the Union address that America ultimately will prevail over a crisis that claims 174 lives daily.

Trump campaigned on the opioid issue and created a presidential advisory commission upon taking office. He recently declared the crisis a public health emergency, but the declaration did not come with additional funding.

Trump also recognized special guest Ryan Holets, an Albuquerque, New Mexico, police officer who was seated in first lady Melania Trump's guest box.

Holets and his wife adopted the baby of a pregnant, homeless woman he saw preparing to inject herself with heroin.

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9:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is calling on Congress to pass legislation to generate at least $1.5 trillion to upgrade the nation's roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

Trump is using his State of the Union address to appeal to Republicans and Democrats to come together to provide the safe, fast, reliable and modern infrastructure that he says the economy needs to thrive and Americans deserve.

The president says every federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments, and tapping private-sector investment where appropriate.

Trump says an infrastructure bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process, getting it down to no more than two years and perhaps even one.

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9:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump is taking a softer approach to a highly charged issue in his State of the Union speech.

Trump is using the story of 12-year-old Preston Sharp to drive home his case that Americans should stand for the national anthem.

Sharp organized a campaign to put flags on fallen veterans' graves.

Trump says, "Preston's reverence for those who have served our Nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem."

Trump has hurled harsh rhetoric against football players who knelt during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality.

Trump has said those players should be fired and called on fans to boycott their games.

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9:35 p.m.

Half the House chamber is boisterous and bouncing up and down for standing ovations during President Donald Trump's State of the Union address. The other half is somber and still, amid a sea of black clothes.

It is as if Republicans and Democrats are attending two separate events.

Republicans are applauding and cheering as Trump talks about making America great again, and his late 2017 victory revamping the tax code.

Democrats are barely reacting to Trump's remarks, though they did join in applause for emergency responders and veterans.

As Trump entered the chamber before his speech, nearly all Democrats were seated and quiet in less than 20 seconds. Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey waved a pocket copy of the Constitution.

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9:33 p.m.

President Donald Trump is telling the stories of ordinary people to help illustrate themes in his State of the Union address.

Trump opened by highlighting Ashlee Leppert, a U.S. Coast Guard petty officer who was aboard one of the first helicopters on the scene in Houston during Hurricane Harvey. He mentioned firefighter David Dahlberg, who rescued dozens of children trapped in a California summer camp threatened by wildfires.

Trump illustrated the tax cuts he signed into law last year by introducing small-business owners from Ohio. Trump said Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger are giving out raises, hiring workers and expanding their business because of tax code changes.

And then there's Preston Sharp from California. Trump lauded the 12-year-old for starting an effort to place U.S. flags on veterans' graves.

__

9:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is celebrating a booming economy in his State of the Union address.

Trump says 2.4 million jobs have been created since his election and says wages are going up.

He's talking up the unemployment rate and says the stock market "has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value."

Trump is also promising that millions of Americans will be taking home more pay starting next month thanks to the "massive" tax cuts he signed into law at the end of 2017.

Republicans are looking for Trump to help convince the country that they've made progress while in charge ahead of the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

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9:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the state of the union is strong "because our people are strong."

And he adds that together "we are building a safe, strong and proud America."

Trump opened his first State of the Union address Tuesday night by recognizing the bravery of Americans who helped each other through a series of devastating hurricanes, wildfires and mass shootings during his first year in office.

He also paid tribute to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. The Louisiana Republican was severely wounded last year when a gunman opened fire on Republican lawmakers as they practiced for an upcoming congressional baseball game.

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9:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump is kicking off his State of the Union speech with recollections of the year past.

Trump is talking about the hurricanes that devastated states including Florida and Texas, and the wildfires that ripped through Texas.

He says, "We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship."

He's telling those affected by the devastation that "we are with you" and "we will pull through together."

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9:10 p.m.

The parents of Otto Warmbier, the American student who died of injuries suffered in North Korean custody, are in the audience at the State of the Union.

That's according to a congressional source who requested anonymity because the invitation hadn't been announced.

Trump was expected to pay tribute to Warmbier's parents, Fred and Cindy, during Tuesday's speech.

Trump is trying to prevent North Korea from obtaining a nuclear weapon and the means to deliver one.

Warmbier was imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months and died shortly after being returned to the U.S. He visited North Korea with a Chinese tourist company.

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9:06 p.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump has signed a new executive order to keep the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay open.

Trump said during his campaign that he wanted to keep Guantanamo open and "load it up with some bad dudes." But the White House announcement just before Tuesday's State of the Union address marks a formal reversal of President Barack Obama's eight-year effort to close the detention center.

The order preserves military detention as a counterterrorism tool by keeping the prison open.

President George W. Bush opened Guantanamo after Sept. 11 to hold and interrogate suspected enemy combatants. At its peak in 2003, it held about 680 detainees.

Bush transferred about 500 out before leaving office. Obama transferred 197 detainees out, leaving 41.

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9:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump has arrived in the House chamber to deliver his first State of the Union address.

Cheers and applause rang out as Trump was introduced by the Sergeant at Arms.

Trump shook hands with lawmakers, waved and pointed at some as he inched his way down the center aisle.

Nearly every Democratic lawmaker stopped clapping seconds after the president entered the chamber. Many remained seated.

Trump accented his dark suit with a bright blue tie for the occasion.

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9 p.m.

President Donald Trump's motorcade passed a group of protesters near the U.S. Capitol as the president traveled to the annual State of the Union address.

About 100 protesters chanted near a location by the U.S. Botanical Gardens on Independence Avenue, a few blocks from the Capitol. Demonstrators held signs that said "You're Fired," and the word L-I-A-R lit up in yellow lights.

Trump's short motorcade ride took him around the Washington Monument and near the Tidal Basin with a view of the Jefferson Memorial in the distance.

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9 p.m.

Melania Trump received a standing ovation as she entered the House chamber to take her seat for the State of the Union address.

The first lady — wearing a white Dior pantsuit — arrived at the Capitol before President Donald Trump, a change from last year, when they rode together in the limousine.

Mrs. Trump's spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, says the first lady went early to accompany guests whose stories amplify the president's agenda and who will sit in her guest box.

The first lady hadn't been seen in public with Trump since The Wall Street Journal reported this month that, in 2016, Trump's lawyer paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about an affair she had with Trump. Daniels issued a statement Tuesday denying the affair.

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8:55 p.m.

Democrats crowding the House chamber are letting buttons — and the color of their clothes — send messages.

Many are wearing rectangular lapel buttons that say "TIME'S UP," a statement against workplace sexual harassment. Several members of Congress have ended their careers lately over harassment allegations, and the buttons were distributed at a morning meeting of Democratic lawmakers.

Some are wearing red buttons that say "RECY." That is a tribute to Recy Taylor, a black woman from a rural Alabama sharecropping family who was gang-raped by six white men in 1944. No charges were brought despite confessions, but her case became a galvanizing force for the civil rights movement.

Virtually all Democratic women are dressed in black, a show of support for the #MeToo movement.

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8:25 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump has traveled to Capitol Hill separately from her husband, President Donald Trump, ahead of his State of the Union speech.

That's a change from last year, when the first couple made the trip up Pennsylvania Avenue in the same vehicle.

Mrs. Trump's spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, says the first lady went early, accompanying a group of guests for the speech whose stories amplify the president's agenda. Grisham says the first lady and Karen Pence held an "intimate meet-and-greet" at the Capitol for the guests. A White House official says Mrs. Trump is expected to ride back to the White House with her husband after the speech.

Mrs. Trump hadn't been seen in public with her husband since The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that in 2016, Trump's lawyer paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about an affair she said she had with the future president. Daniels on Tuesday issued a statement denying the affair happened.

___

8:15 p.m.

An hour before President Donald Trump's big speech, the House chamber is beginning to fill with lawmakers eying prime seats and making small talk.

Republicans seem more intent on arriving early. The GOP side is filling steadily while Democrats are taking a bit more time getting to their posts. Indeed, about a dozen Democratic lawmakers have announced they won't be attending the speech.

Early arrivals include Republican Reps. Mark Walker of North Carolina, Gregg Harper of Mississippi and Louie Gohmert of Texas, all intent on securing an aisle seat and a chance to greet the president when he enters the House chamber and makes his way to the podium.

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8 p.m.

Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III says it would be easy to dismiss the first year of President Donald Trump's presidency as "chaos" marked by partisanship and politics.

But Kennedy says Trump has caused serious problems for the American people, including proposals that target Muslims, transgendered people and others.

Kennedy is delivering the Democratic response to Trump's State of the Union address.

In excerpts released early, Kennedy says the Trump administration "isn't just targeting the laws that protect us — they are targeting the very idea that we are all worthy of protection."

In apparent reference to Trump, Kennedy says "bullies may land a punch" and leave a mark but have "never managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defense of their future."

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7:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is declaring a "new American moment" in his State of the Union address — but his former campaign foe, Hillary Clinton, declared one first.

"This is our New American Moment," Trump will say, touting the state of the economy, according to excerpts released by the White House. "There has never been a better time to start living the American dream."

In a 2010 speech, then-Secretary of State Clinton told the Council on Foreign Relations that "a new American moment" was taking shape on the global stage, "a moment when our global leadership is essential, even if we must often lead in new ways."

It's hardly the first time Trump has appropriated a slogan. "Let's Make America Great Again" was popularized in 1980 by Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign.

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6:50 p.m.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will skip Tuesday's State of the Union address, serving as the so-called "designated survivor."

A member of the presidential line of succession traditionally skips the address to the joint session of Congress and is safeguarded at an undisclosed location to ensure continuity of government in the event of a catastrophe. Usually, a lesser-known member of the president's Cabinet is selected — with higher-profile officials retained to applaud the president's speech from the floor of the House.

The Cold War-era ritual took on new significance after the attacks of September 11, 2001, as fears of terrorism replaced nuclear war as a top threat facing the nation.

A designated high-ranking member of Congress also traditionally skips the speech to maintain the legislative branch's continuity plans.

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6:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump will tell the American people that it is "our new American moment" and call on Republicans and Democrats to come together in his State of the Union speech.

That's according to excerpts released Tuesday evening by the White House.

Trump will strike an optimistic and bipartisan tone, telling Americans he is "extending an open hand to work with members of both parties, Democrats and Republicans, to protect our citizens, of every background, color and creed. "

He'll also discuss the impact of the Republican tax overhaul, explain his administration's efforts to combat the Islamic State group and call on Congress to pass a major infrastructure investment plan.

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6:30 p.m.

A handful of immigrants who have legally lived in the U.S. since disasters struck their countries years ago will attend President Donald Trump's State of the Union address as guests of Democratic lawmakers.

The immigrants benefit from temporary protections granted to people from countries ravaged by natural disasters or war.

The Trump administration has ended the temporary protection for El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua and will make a decision later this year for Honduras.

Democratic lawmakers want to put a face on immigration policy.

Nery Martinez, guest of Nevada Rep. Jacky Rosen, fled civil war in El Salvador and now lives in Las Vegas. Martinez says he'll be at the address to remind the president that temporary protection recipients are "here to make this already great nation even greater."

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5:30 p.m.

What has President Donald Trump learned in his first year as president? That you have to lead with "heart."

That's what Trump told network news anchors during a pre-State of the Union lunch Tuesday.

Trump says, "You govern with all of the instincts of a businessperson, but you have to add much more heart and soul into your decisions than you would ever have even thought of before."

That's according to excerpts released by the White House.

Trump also says issues like immigration would be "so simple" to solve if they were pure business matters, but he says he realizes that "millions and millions of people" are affected by his actions.

He adds that "it's much different, in that way, than I thought it would be."

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4:30 p.m.

First lady Melania Trump is promoting the guests she'll be sitting with at her husband's first State of the Union address.

The first lady tweeted Tuesday that she'll be joined at the speech "by an honorable group of Americans," including "heroes who have served our nation in times of need, families who have suffered at the hands of evil, and citizens who have embraced the American dream."

Mrs. Trump has been keeping a low profile following a report that adult film star Stormy Daniels had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006, shortly after he and the first lady wed.

Daniels released a statement Tuesday saying the affair never happened.

___

3:55 p.m.

Many congressional Democrats are giving their guest passes for President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address to young immigrants known as "Dreamers," who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

More than 20 Dreamers are expected in the House gallery Tuesday night to put a face on the toll of the congressional stalemate on immigration policy.

They are the guests of high-profile Democrats including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and potential 2020 presidential candidates including New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Trump ended Obama-era protections for such immigrants. He now says he wants to grant them a path to citizenship, but Congress has been unable to come up with a legislative solution for an issue at the center of the recent government shutdown.

___

2:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump has told news anchors from all the major TV networks at a White House lunch that he is striving to bring the country together.

Journalists from outlets including PBS, CNN and Fox News say Trump told the group Tuesday that there is "tremendous divisiveness" in the country that has existed for years.

He says if he could unite the country, he would consider it a great achievement.

The lunch is an annual White House tradition ahead of the president's State of the Union address.

Fox News host Bret Baier said on the "The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino" that the lunch menu featured smoked tomato soup, thyme roasted chicken and orange merengue pudding. Baier says the rest of the lunch was off the record.

___

12:30 p.m.

Four of the Supreme Court's nine justices are expected to attend the State of the Union address.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch are expected at the speech. Roberts, Breyer and Kagan regularly attend, as do justices appointed by the president who is speaking. Trump nominated Gorsuch a year ago.

Among the justices who will not be in the audience, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito haven't attended a State of the Union speech in years. Alito last went in 2010, when he was captured on camera mouthing the words "not true" in response to President Barack Obama's criticism of the court's then new ruling in the Citizens United campaign finance case.

Justice Anthony Kennedy's long-standing travel plans have him in California. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in Rhode Island and Justice Sonia Sotomayor is in Panama.

___

12:18 p.m.

President Donald Trump's top economic and national security advisers help with his State of the Union address.

A White House official says national security adviser H.R. McMaster and economic adviser Gary Cohn contributed to the speech Trump plans to deliver Tuesday night at the Capitol. The official says they were assisted by policy adviser Stephen Miller, staff secretary Rob Porter and other speechwriters.

The official stressed that the speech is the president's and that Trump has spent months giving his aides "tidbits" on lines he wants to use.

The White House has said Trump will use the speech to discuss economy and national security, as well as trade, immigration and infrastructure.

The official was not authorized to discuss internal White House deliberations by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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1:27 a.m.

President Donald Trump will herald a robust economy and push for bipartisan congressional action on immigration in Tuesday's State of the Union address.

The speech marks the ceremonial kickoff of Trump's second year in office and is traditionally a president's biggest platform to speak to the nation. However, Trump has redefined presidential communications with his high-octane, filter-free Twitter account and there's no guarantee that the carefully crafted speech will resonate beyond his next tweet.

Still, White House officials are hopeful the president can use the prime-time address to Congress and millions of Americans watching at home to take credit for a soaring economy. Trump argues that the tax overhaul he signed into law late last year has boosted business confidence and will lead companies to reinvest in the United States.

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  • A man is accused of hitting a woman with his pickup in Texas after she refused his advances toward her, according to an arrest affidavit. >> Read more trending news Carlos Amozurrutia, 27, of Round Rock, was charged with accident involving personal injury, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The victim said Amozurrutia was giving her a ride home Sunday when he began making unwanted advances toward her, the affidavit said. It said she told him to stop so he stopped his pickup and pushed her out. She said that when he drove away, he struck her with the truck, the affidavit said. It said police were alerted at 2:26 a.m. Sunday about the incident in the 400 block of Blockhouse Drive. The victim had an injury on the left side of her face, and also scratches and red marks on her hands and knees, according to the affidavit. The affidavit does not say how the victim and Amozurrutia knew each other. A witness who also was in the pickup said she got out of the truck with the victim and saw it strike her, the affidavit said. It also said two other witnesses who were driving by saw the victim struck and knocked to the ground by an open door on the passenger side when the truck pulled away. It said the two witnesses told police the driver left without offering to help the victim. Police stopped Amozurrutia at a nearby gas station for an unrelated offense and were able to identify his truck as the one that hit the victim, the affidavit said. Amozurrutia was released from the Williamson County Jail on Sunday after posting bail set at $75,000.
  • Only on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley You don’t usually have to look too far to find fun things to do around Central Florida, and we’ve got you covered by selecting the best of the best each week. Laurel Lee talked through our top weekend picks early Friday morning on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley. The icFlorida Fun 3: 10th Annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest The 10th Annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest takes place in the heart of downtown Orlando at Lake Eola on Robinson Street, and the two-day Fest features mouth-watering dishes from 30 of Orlando’s premier restaurants, 50 domestic & international wines, and live entertainment.    7th annual Central Florida Dragon Parade Lunar New Year Festival The Year of the Dog marks the 7th annual Central Florida Dragon Parade Lunar New Year Festival held in Orlando, Florida. UCF Fan Experience and Fight Night The UFC Fan Experience and Fight Night will take over the Amway Center this Saturday.   Before you head out for any of these awesome events, be sure to check the icFlorida Weekend Events Weather Forecast from WFTV meteorologist Brian Shields.
  • In a speech to a large gathering of conservative political activists outside Washington, D.C., President Donald Trump on Friday said he is committed to forcing security changes in America’s schools, which he says will cut down on the threat of mass school shootings, like the one last week in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 people. “We will act, we will do something,” the President said in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference. “We will act.” Mr. Trump on Friday again repeated his support for his call to allow certain teachers and administrators to carry a concealed weapon in school, all to form a line of defense. “Why do we protect our airports and banks, but not our schools?” the President said. At #CPAC2018, Trump renews his call for 'gun-adept' school staff to be armed: 'When we declare our schools to be gun-free zones, it just puts our students in far more danger' https://t.co/K3rEyFsN7e https://t.co/kNnFYsQAXV — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 23, 2018 “Our schools are essentially gun-free zones and that makes them very dangerous places,” Mr. Trump added. Both at the speech, and earlier in the day at the White House, Mr. Trump said he was disappointed in the reaction of an armed deputy, who was stationed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, but did not confront the gunman who was shooting inside. “When it came time to get in there and do something, he didn’t have the courage or something happened. But he certainly did a poor job,” the President told reporters before boarding Marine One. President Trump says the Parkland sheriff who did not enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High during the shooting 'certainly did a poor job — there's no question about that' https://t.co/9jVQ6bkOKr https://t.co/frVLMDkkjs — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 23, 2018 At CPAC, the President also expressed his support for more efforts to put mental health information into the current instant background check system for gun buyers, and said it’s time for police and authorities to do more about people who have mental health issues. “We will really have to strengthen up background checks,” the President said. “We have to do that.” Several times, Mr. Trump seemed to be publicly cajoling the National Rifle Association to accept his plans on guns and school security, as the President reminded his audience that he was a staunch defender of the Second Amendment. “Let’s get it done right,” the President said of action on a variety of fronts to deal with school shootings. “We really owe it to our country.” The President on Friday did not mention his call to raise the minimum purchase age for a gun like an AR-15 from 18 years old to 21 years old – that proposal has already drawn some concern from Republicans in the Congress, and reports of resistance inside the NRA as well. Also in his CPAC speech, Mr. Trump ran through a familiar list of achievements during his first term in office, talking up a major package of tax cuts, the end of dozens of regulations, and the confirmation of conservative federal judges. “Don’t get complacent,” the President urged the crowd, telling them a victory for Democrats in the Congress in the 2018 mid-term elections would endanger a number of his accomplishments. “They will take away those massive tax cuts, and they will take away your Second Amendment,” the President said of Democrats. “We’ve got seven years to go,” Mr. Trump said to cheers. “We’re finally rebuilding our nation.” There was also a lighter moment, as President Trump noted that the big video boards in the convention hall might show something he tries to avoid. Trump admits to hiding his bald-spot as he gets distracted by his own image during a speech at CPAC pic.twitter.com/3Onp8xuMcK — Jenni Missye White (@Missycilious) February 23, 2018 “I try like hell to hide that bald spot,” the Preisdent said to cheers.
  •   An 8-year-old Florida girl became the subject of an Amber Alert on Thursday, according to officials with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.   FDLE officials said an Amber Alert for Juliet Odierna, of Cape Coral, has been canceled.   She was wearing a blue polo shirt, khaki skorts and black shoes.    FDLE officials said she might have been with Jennifer Odierna, 34, and Theodore Moschovas, 37.   FDLE didn't say if there was any type of relationship between Juliet and the two adults.   No other details were given.