Trump accepts Pelosi’s State of the Union invite
President Donald Trump has accepted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s invitation to give his State of the Union address on February 5, the White House announced Monday evening.
“When I wrote to you on January 23rd, I stated that we should work together to find a mutually agreeable date when government has reopened to schedule this year’s State of the Union address,” Pelosi stated in a letter provided by her office. “In our conversation today, we agreed on February 5th.”
Pelosi continued, “Therefore, I invite you to deliver your State of the Union address before a Joint Session of Congress on February 5, 2019 in the House Chamber.”
Trump responded later Monday accepting Pelosi’s invitation.
“It is my great honor to accept,” Trump wrote. “We have a great story to tell and yet, great goals to achieve!”
A Pelosi aide said that the speaker was the one to call Trump on Monday.
The State of the Union became a point of contention in the negotiations related to the partial government shutdown that ended on Friday. Pelosi originally invited Trump on January 3 to give the speech this Tuesday. After the government shutdown continued for most of the month, the California Democrat on January 16 requested that Trump postpone the address or deliver it in writing, citing security concerns. While Trump responded by canceling Pelosi’s use of a military vehicle for an overseas trip, he eventually acquiesced to her request and agreed to reschedule the speech after the shutdown had ended.
The agreement to end the shutdown on Friday reopened government for three weeks while congressional negotiators work to see if there’s a potential deal related to border security, immigration issues and the President’s campaign promise of a border wall, money for which had caused the standoff that led to the shutdown.
Following the shutdown’s end on Friday, a senior White House official was asked when the speech would be rescheduled. The official responded, “You need to ask the speaker that.”