On February 5th, US President Donald Trump held his annual “State of the Union” address.
“The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican agenda or a Democrat agenda,” Trump began his speech. “It is the agenda of the American people.”
Trump for over a month threatened to impose a state of emergency, to circumvent the Congress refusal to fund the $5.7 billion border wall project. He appears to have been dissuaded from it and there will be no emergency, yet.
He optimistically began his speech by saying that there is “a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage to seize it.” He then expressed apparent support for various initiatives including new funding to eradicate AIDS, a campaign to reduce childhood cancers and yet another commitment to try to fix the country’s “crumbling infrastructure.”
He then mentioned the threat of congressional investigations into his Presidential conduct.
First off, he asked the Democratic majority to withhold “ridiculous partisan investigations” and cautioned his enemies not to seek “revenge” against him.
Then he addressed Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way!” he said.
“We must be united at home to defeat our adversaries abroad,” he said.
In an attempt to divide the Republican party, he addressed two issues that have long been used to rally conservatives – the fight against abortion and socialism.
“There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days,” he said, referring to efforts by Democrats in New York and Virginia to loosen restrictions on abortion rights.
“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” Mr. Trump said. “America was founded on liberty and independence — and not government coercion, domination and control.”
Following that Trump began praising his accomplishments on behalf of women. “No one has benefited more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the newly created jobs last year,” said Trump.
He then moved on to advertising the border wall:
“This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier — not just a simple concrete wall,” he said, adding, “Simply put, WALLS WORK and WALLS SAVE LIVES.”
In contrast to his claims, Representative Veronica Escobar, Democrat of Texas, whose district includes most of El Paso was visibly angry at the POTUS.
Fact is that El Paso has been one of the safest cities in the nation long before the wall was built in 2008. #WallsDontWork
— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) February 6, 2019
— Orli Matlow (@HireMeImFunny) February 6, 2019
Significantly, Trump announced his next meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un – February 27-28 in Vietnam.
“Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong-un is a good one,” Trump said. “Chairman Kim and I will meet again on February 27th and 28th in Vietnam.”
In a short overview, these are the significant points Trump made, and the NYT has claimed that some of them are wrong:
President Trump said that more people are working in the United States than at any time in history – According to the NYT, that is misleading. “While the total number of people working in the United States is higher than ever, it is not because of the president’s policies. It is because more people than ever live in the United States”
President Trump said the American economy is considered “far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.” – This is false, according to the NYT. “The American economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018, the most recent available data. Growth in Latvia and Poland was almost twice as fast. Same for China and India. Even the troubled Greek economy posted stronger growth.”
In excerpts released before his speech, President Trump took credit for America’s superstar status in the world, saying other countries are envious of the economy and that its military is the most powerful. – Misleading, according to the NYT – “America has long been considered the world’s superstar, a status that predates Mr. Trump’s time in office, going back to the end of World War II.”