Trump's State of the Union to focus on 'choosing greatness'

Trump's State of the Union to focus on 'choosing greatness'

Trump's State of the Union to focus on 'choosing greatness'

There is also speculation that Trump's hints of a big announcement during the State of the Union will be in regards to his plan to pull USA forces out of Syria.

For those looking to tune on Tuesday evening, the official said the speech's length will be comparable to last year's State of the Union, which was just nine minutes shy of setting a record as the longest in history.

Trump's threat comes well before the expiration of a February 15 deadline that he set for Congress to agree on funding for wall construction.

The White House provided the first early excerpt from the speech to reporters, though an official noted the president and his team continue to make tweaks leading up to the day the speech is delivered.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi added to the drama by forcing Trump to move the speech to Tuesday because of the original government shutdown. Instead, Trump is expected to strike a unifying tone and focus on areas of potential bipartisan compromise. When asked directly if he was going to make an emergency declaration during his speech, the president replied, "Well, I'm saying listen closely to the State of the Union".

With the official White House theme for speech being "Choosing Greatness", the plan for Trump's address is to pitch a message of political togetherness and reset relations with Democrats, who took control of the lower house of Congress in the midterm elections and have made it their goal to stymie anything on the White House's agenda.

But Trump likely will spend more time crowing about what he sees as the administration's signature achievements, White House advisers said.

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Officials were quick to caution that the speech remains a work in progress and stressed that Trump will tinker with it until the final moments.

- The contentious debate on illegal immigration over the Mexican border.

Finally, the president will update Congress on his "diplomatic and military efforts around the world and reaffirm his determination to protect American interest and bring to an end our endless foreign wars", the official said. The ongoing struggle for democracy in Venezuela will also be a topic of discussion.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has hinted that Trump will use the speech to make a major announcement on Syria. Mr. Trump told reporters Thursday the date and location for his second meeting with North Korea have been selected.

Trump is also expected to seize on recent headlines about late-term abortion amid recent scrutiny of the practice and will talk about "respect for human life", according to the senior administration official. "But Trump does not have the usual base of support".

"He desperately needs to send a signal to the American people that his administration is open for business, that he is prepared to negotiate on a wide range of issues that might enable him to broaden support", Galston said.

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