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Jan. 24, 2019, 12:02 a.m. EST

Trump agrees to hold State of the Union address after shutdown ends

Pelosi had rescinded invitation; late-night tweets end daylong standoff

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By Mike Murphy


Reuters
President Donald Trump speaks at the White House earlier this month.

President Donald Trump backed down Wednesday night and said he would hold his State of the Union address after the government shutdown is over.

“Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address. I agreed. She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date. This is her prerogative - I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over,” Trump tweeted. “I look forward to giving a ‘great’ State of the Union Address in the near future!”

That capped a dramatic daylong showdown, as Trump first announced he would show up at the House for the State of the Union on Jan. 29 as originally scheduled. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly said he would not be allowed to give his speech in the House, adding that the president would be welcome to speak once the 33-day-old shutdown is over. Trump called Pelosi’s disinvitation a “disgrace,” and said he would conduct an alternative event, though did not specify what that might be. Last week, Pelosi had suggested the speech be delayed, claiming the shutdown could hinder security measures for the speech.

Pelosi responded to Trump’s tweets late Wednesday night, urging the president to support the House-approved package to end the shutdown, one of two competing bills to reopen government that the Senate will vote on Thursday.

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