Trump says Pelosi canceled State of the Union to avoid 'the truth'

Trump Says He Plans to Give State of Union Speech in House as ScheduledMore

Trump Says He Plans to Give State of Union Speech in House as ScheduledMore

The clash between two of Washington's most powerful leaders escalated the standoff that has partly closed the government for 33 days and that threatens the USA economy and the livelihoods of about 800,000 federal workers. He expanded on those sentiments during a subsequent event at the White House, calling the cancellation a "disgrace" and asserting that Pelosi didn't want to hear the truth about the need for better border security.

The move is the latest in a game of political brinkmanship between Trump and the House speaker as they remain locked in an increasingly personal standoff over Trump's demand for border wall funding that has forced a partial government shutdown that is now in its second month.

Earlier in the day, Trump essentially dared her to disinvite him from making the speech, which was set for next Tuesday.

Believing Pelosi was boxed in by her caucus and unable to negotiate with Trump, McConnell coordinated a new shutdown strategy with the president to reopen the government, according to aides familiar with the discussions. The White House scrambled to find a site matching the gravitas of the traditional address from the rostrum of the House to lawmakers from both parties, Supreme Court justices, invited guests and a television audience of millions.

The drama surrounding the State of the Union address began last week when Pelosi asked Trump to make other plans but stopped short of denying him the chamber for his address.

"I am writing to inform you that the House of Representatives will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President's State of the Union address in the House Chamber until the government has opened", Pelosi wrote. Trump has voiced concern about losing the public's support, and expressed surprise most Americans aren't on his side.

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Pelosi in her letter had cited the impact of the ongoing shutdown on the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service, questioning whether they could secure the speech given that they have been operating without funding.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised that Mexico would pay for his wall, but Mexico refused and now the Republican president wants US taxpayers to pay for it. Test votes on related measures were scheduled for Thursday in the Senate.

Trump told the press after seeing Pelosi's response that he was "not surprised".

Pelosi's letter came in response to Trump's letter earlier on the day announcing his intent to deliver the speech in front of a joint session of Congress in the chamber of the House on January 29.

The Constitution states only that the president "shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union", meaning the president can speak anywhere he chooses or give his update in writing. Trump wrote to Pelosi. Pelosi has yet to do so, although neither the House nor the Senate have passed a required resolution that would allow the House chamber to be used for the speech.

The message Trump plans to deliver at the Capitol - even one shaped around the shutdown - would be much more sober than the President's usual rhetoric at a rally, where he often deviates from the script and works off the crowd.

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