Donald Trump is preparing two State of the Union addresses, one the more traditional address typically delivered to Congress and to the American people, the other intended for a later campaign rally, ABC News is reporting.
Traditionally, the president delivers his annual State of the Union at the end of January. However, with the partial government shutdown now in its fourth week — and being unlikely to be unresolved by the scheduled date of the address, January 29 — a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the speech.
In fact, it remains unclear how or where the president will even deliver his speech. Traditionally the speech is given before both houses of Congress. However, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has delivered a letter to Trump, asking him to tone things down in light of the ongoing partial government shutdown — perhaps instead giving the address from the Oval Office. She argued that this suggestion would cost less money for security, and would make for less of a spectacle in light of the harsh realities of the shutdown.
Regardless, Trump is moving ahead in preparing his speech — two of them, actually.
So far, the content of both speeches remains under wraps. But as for the first, it appears that Trump is at least considering rejecting Pelosi’s suggestion of a more toned-down address, instead moving forward as if he’s going to deliver the speech from the floor of Congress.
In fact, according to the Hill, Trump has sent a letter to the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House, asking for a “dry run” of the area — that is, a chance to familiarize himself with the layout of the House floor. Meanwhile, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley reiterated that the president will give his address from wherever he chooses.
“We have no announcement at this time, but Nancy Pelosi does not dictate to the president when he will or will not have a conversation with the American people.”
Pelosi, for her part, insists that she’s pushing Trump to give the speech from the Oval Office — or anywhere other than the floor of Congress — for the sake of security. She has also suggested that Trump delay the speech until after the shutdown is over.
“Our letter is clear about what our concerns are. Just read the letter again, okay? It’s about security.”
As for the second State of the Union speech, Trump plans to deliver it to a campaign rally outside of Washington, D.C. It remains unclear, as of this writing, when or where that is to happen.