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Bullied Boy Named Trump Will Be Among SOTU Guests

President expected to call for bipartisanship as well as a border wall
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2019 6:26 AM CST
Updated Feb 5, 2019 6:48 AM CST

(Newser) – President Trump will deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday night and analysts expect two largely incompatible things: Calls for a unity, and calls for a border wall. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway says Trump will be "calling for cooperation" in the address, though both Democrats and Republicans are skeptical, the AP reports.Trump is widely expected to double down on his calls for a border wall. He is expected to mention declaring a national emergency to secure funding for the wall, though not to declare the emergency during the speech itself. "You'll hear the State of the Union, and then you'll see what happens right after the State of the Union," the president said Monday. More:

  • Guests include a boy bullied for the name Trump. The president and Melania Trump's 13 guests for the address will include Joshua Trump, a sixth-grader from Delaware who says he's been bullied for years because of his name, Politico reports. Other guests will include two survivors of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and Alice Johnson, the Tennessee great-grandmother he granted clemency to last year. Trump has also invited relatives of a Nevada couple allegedly murdered by a man who was in the country illegally. The White House has a full list here.

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  • What to expect. Trump is expected to offer a legislative solution for "Dreamers" as well as emphasize border security, the New York Times reports. He is also expected to discuss abortion, repeat his call for a massive nationwide infrastructure program—and boast about the latest economic figures, which show growth in jobs has continued for the 100th month in a row. Trump has also said he will "probably" reveal a date for his second summit with Kim Jong Un.
  • "Prepared to go forward alone." People briefed on the speech say Trump will call for bipartisan action on issues including the border wall and infrastructure—but with a warning to Democrats. "What the administration is saying is we should be working together on these issues," former Trump campaign advisor Bryan Lanz tells the Wall Street Journal. But Trump, he says, also plans to warn: "If you want to do nothing, I'm prepared to go forward alone."
  • The olive branch. With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sitting behind him, Trump's "olive branch" to Democrats will likely include reforming drug pricing and committing to ending AIDS by 2030, though aides also expect him to "needle" Democrats with appeals to his base, the Hill reports.

  • Victory over ISIS? Trump is also expected to discuss winding down the war in Afghanistan and possibly to declare near-total victory over ISIS, the AP reports. He is expected to expand on the latter Wednesday in a meeting with top diplomats from the 79-member anti-ISIS coalition.
  • "Comity." Conway said Monday that Trump will call for more "comity," though Democrats said they doubted any serious bipartisan proposals would emerge from his "chaotic" administration, the Washington Post reports. "What I expect the president to do is ignore reality and spin his own fiction,” said Sen. Charles Schumer. "A looming question is just how many falsehoods, distortions and made-up facts will appear in the president’s speech?"
  • Democratic guests. Roll Call has a list of the special guests lawmakers will be bringing, including a number of guests invited by Democrats to troll Trump, including Victorina Morales and Sandra Diaz, two women who worked as housekeepers at a Trump golf club despite not having legal status.
  • The rebuttal. The Democratic response will be delivered by Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the gubernatorial election in Georgia. She says she plans to "deliver a vision for prosperity and equality, where everyone in our nation has a voice and where each of those voices is heard." USA Today wonders whether the up-and-coming Democrat will be able to avoid the "curse" that has caused numerous political careers, including that of Bobby Jindal, to fizzle after delivering the SOTU response.
(Read more State of the Union Address stories.)

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