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Trump to deliver state of union address after shutdown ends

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-01-24 12:44
US President Donald Trump delivers remarks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. on Jan 19, 2019. [Photo/IC]

WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump said in a late-night tweet Wednesday that he will deliver the state of the union (SOTU) address in Congress after the government reopens.

"I will do the address when the shutdown is over," Trump said in a two-part tweet.

"I am not looking for an alternative venue for the SOTU address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the house chamber," Trump said.

The tweet capped a dramatic day in which Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were engaged in a back-and-forth regarding the time and venue for the address.

When sworn in as house speaker on Jan 3, Pelosi invited Trump to deliver the speech on Jan 29 in accordance with long-running tradition. As the government shutdown continued, Pelosi suggested on Jan. 16 that Trump postpone the date, citing security risks due to government shutdown.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump told Pelosi that he intended to "honor the invitation" and deliver the speech on Jan. 29 as planned, only to be rejected by Pelosi hours later.

Speaking with journalists after Pelosi's rejection, Trump floated the idea of finding an alternative venue to deliver the speech, with the southwest border being one of the rumored locations.

The tweet signaled that Trump has finally decided to heed Pelosi's suggestion and wait for the government shutdown to end, handing Pelosi a political win.

The US government shutdown, stemming from disagreement between the White House and the Democratic Party regarding funding for a border wall, is about to enter its 34th day. Congress has shot down numerous legislative attempts to reopen the government, as both parties have yet to mend their wide divide on the issue.

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