President Donald Trump addressed the nation in prime-time Tuesday night and gave his first State of the Union address as Commander in Chief.
In keeping true to his ethos and mission, “Make America Great Again,” the President lifted up America and called to put America first.
And in the United States, “there has never been a better time to start living the American dream,” Trump said, noting that the economy has never been better.
While reflecting on the administration’s achievements throughout the past year, Trump also stressed that there needs to be unity in moving America forward even more.
“I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties, Democrats and Republicans, to protect our citizens, of every background, color and creed,” Trump said.
The President also continued to draw a hard line in the sand when it comes to dealing with terrorists and rogue nations that challenge the United States.
“We are also restoring our strength and standing abroad,” Trump told the nation. “We face rogue regimes, terrorist groups and rivals like China and Russia who challenge our interests, our economy and our values.”
Congress must “end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military,” Trump pointed out, and keep building up the military that protects America. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis could be seen standing among the attendees to applaud the sentiment.
“As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, making it so strong and so powerful it will deter any acts of aggression by any other nation or anyone else,” the President continued. “Perhaps some day in the future there will be a magical moment when countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. We are not there yet, sadly.”
Trump then said that he is keeping his promise to extinguish ISIS “from the face of the earth,” and that the U.S.-led Coalition has eliminated “almost 100 percent” of the terrorists in Iraq, Syria and other countries.
“We will continue our work to be done until ISIS is defeated,” Trump said.
And in dealing with those terrorists that the U.S. ends up detaining, Trump announced Tuesday night that he has signed an order directing Mattis to “re-examine our detention policy and keep open the detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay.”
“I’m asking Congress to ensure that in the fight against ISIS […] we continue to have all the necessary power to detain and chase terrorists,” Trump added.
Trump had not tweeted for more than 24 hours leading up to the State of the Union – unusual for a President who regularly communicates in 160 characters or more.
The speech was prepared over the course of several months, and Trump had input in creating it. He was assisted by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Gary Cohn, Economy Adviser.
The speech was lasted about 80 minutes.
Rep. Joe Kennedy from Massachusetts gave the Democrats’ response speech following the President’s address. Kennedy is the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy.