President Donald Trump delivered his first State Of The Union address (AFP)
US President Donald Trump delivered his maiden State Of The Union address, an annual message presented by the US President, to a joint session of the congress.
In the hour-long address, Donald Trump spoke about the American economy and the tax cuts undertaken by his government. He also talked about "decades of unfair trade deals", "immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American Workers and American Families", "what kind of nation" America will be, and America's "fight until ISIS is defeated
" among others.
The State Of The Union was recently mired in controversy as tickets to the prime-time speech were printed inviting lawmakers and guests to the State of the "Uniom". Although Donald Trump has been a presidential trailblazer on the spelling front, this goof-up had left the officials red-faced. Here are the Highlights from Donald Trump's debut State Of The Union address:
President Trump on North Korea's "cruel dictatorship"
No regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea. North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland," President Trump said.
Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation. I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this very dangerous position," he added.
President Trump on Iran and US' nuclear deal with Iran
"When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent. America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom," President Trump said.
"I am asking the Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal. My Administration has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela," he added.
"I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to friends of America, not enemies of America," said President Trump.
President Donald Trump on Jerusalem as Israel's capital
"Last month, I also took an action endorsed unanimously by the US Senate just months before: I recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," President Trump said.
President Trump on Afghanistan
"Our warriors in Afghanistan also have new rules of engagement. Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans," President Trump said.
Without naming the recent Kabul ambulance attack, President Trump said, "Terrorists who do things like place bombs in civilian hospitals are evil. When possible, we have no choice but to annihilate them."
President Trump on keeping Guantanamo Bay open
"Today, I am keeping another promise. I just signed an order directing Secretary Mattis to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay."
President Donald Trump on ISIS
"I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth. 1 year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated very close to 10% of the territory just recently held by these killers in Iraq and Syria," Donald Trump said.
"ISIS has lost nearly 100% of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria. Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth... We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated," President Trump said.
"Terrorists are not merely criminals. They are unlawful enemy combatants. And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are," he said.
"In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds and hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield, including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi," he added.
When the countries of the world eliminate nuclear weapons, it will be a "magical moment": Donald Trump
"Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet, sadly," he said.
President Trump on Russia and China
"We face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, & our values," said President Trump.
"I am thereby asking the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military," said Donald Trump.
"As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression," President Trump added.
"These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system," said President Trump.
"Two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration": President Donald Trump
"The third pillar ends the visa lottery, a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of American people," President Trump said.
On chain migration:
"The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives," said President Trump, adding, "We will now restrict that to the spouse and minor children only."
"In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration. In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can just no longer afford," President Trump added.
President Trump on borders
"The second pillar fully secures the border. That means building a great wall on the Southern border," Donald Trump said.
"Our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country, and it finally ends the horrible and dangerous practice of 'catch and release.'" he said.
Donald Trump on citizenship and immigration
"The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age. That covers almost 3 times more people than the previous administration," President Trump said.
"Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States over a 12-year period," he said.
President Trump on immigration
"My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans... because Americans are dreamers too," says President Trump.
"Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families," he said.
"Open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities": Donald Trump
"Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country," said President Trump.
"For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans," he added.
"As President of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America's children, America's struggling workers, and America's forgotten communities," President Trump said.
"The era of economic surrender is totally over": President Trump
"We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity," said President Trump.
"The era of economic surrender is totally over," President Trump added.
President Trump talks about prison reform
"As America regains its strength, this opportunity must be extended to all citizens. That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance at life," said President Trump.
President Trump on US infrastructure
"As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. America has been, is, and always will be a nation of builders," said President Trump.
"Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment -- to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit. And we can do it," President Trump said.
"As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. America has been, is, and always will be a nation of builders. We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land. And we will do it with American heart, and American hands, and American grit," he further said.
President Donald Trump speaks on trade deals
"America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs, and our wealth... The era of economic surrender is totally over," said President Trump.
"From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and, very importantly, reciprocal," he said and added saying, "We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones and they'll be good ones."
President Trump on prescription drugs
"Last year the US FDA approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever before in our history," said President Trump.
"I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities for the year. And prices will come down substantially. Just wait and watch," he said, adding "One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs."
"We have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in the history of our country," President Trump said on reforms his administration made.
President Donald Trump on American Energy and car companies
"We have ended the war on American Energy and we have ended the war on beautiful clean coal. We are now very proudly an exporter of energy to the world," says President Trump.
On car companies:
"Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States, something we have not seen for decades. Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan; Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama... Yes, It's coming back," President Trump added.
"I will not stop until our veterans are properly taken care of, which has been my promise to them from the very beginning of this great journey," said President Trump.
Last year, the Congress passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act: President Donald Trump
President Trump on the Second Amendment and religious liberty
"We are totally defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty," says President Trump.
President Trump on new government appointments
"Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court Justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country," said President Trump.
President Trump on tax cuts
"Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses-many of them thousands and thousands of dollars per worker," President Trump had said.
"In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life. Our motto is 'in God we trust.' We celebrate our police, our military, and our amazing veterans as heroes who deserve our total and unwavering support," said President Trump.
"Americans love their country. And they deserve a Government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return," President Trump added.
"This is in fact our new American moment. There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream," says President Donald Trump.
"No matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time. If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve absolutely anything," he added.
"Together, we are rediscovering the American way," President Trump said.
President Trump on Apple's plan to invest in the US
"Apple Inc has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers," said President Trump.
President Trump on "disastrous" Obamacare
"We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare.. the individual mandate is now gone": President Trump
President Trump speaks in his first State Of The Union Address
President Trump talks about tax cuts
"A typical family of four making $75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000, slashing their tax bill in half," said President Trump.
President Trump talks about unemployment reduction
"Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. And something I'm very proud of: African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history," says President Trump.
"Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs. including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. Tremendous numbers. After years and years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages," said US President Donald Trump.
"Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people - this is really the key - these are the people we were elected to serve," said President Trump.
President Trump says the historic tax cuts enacted by his administration have provided relief to small businesses.
President Trump says retirement pensions and retirement savings accounts have "gone through the roof". He also says he has enacted the biggest tax reforms in US history.
"Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be. We saw the volunteers of the "Cajun Navy", racing to the rescue with their fishing boats to save people in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane," says President Trump, praising those who helped with rescue operations.
"We have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous vision to make America great again for all Americans," says President Trump.
"We have seen the beauty of America's soul, and the steel in America's spine. Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be," says President Trump.
President Trump has arrived in Washington DC and has started delivering his maiden State Of The Union address.
The official White House Twitter account has tweeted as well, asking viewers to tune in live for President Donald Trump's first State Of The Union address.
President Donald Trump has just tweeted before his first State Of The Union address.
US President Donald Trump leaves from White House for his first State of the Union address at Capitol Hill.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has been named the "designated survivor" for President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address.
According to the excerpt by White house, Donald Trump will focus on past experience that has taught America "that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation. I will not repeat the mistakes of the past Administrations that got us into this dangerous position."
In the audience, some female Democrats have said they will be wearing black as a signal of their support for the #MeToo movement, raising awareness to combat sexual misconduct. A number of Republican women have said they will wear red, white and blue to show support for the US military.
On Monday, Donald Trump said he would use part of his speech to call for a bipartisan deal on immigration. A few days earlier, he proposed a deal that would allow "dreamers" - young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children - to be given a path to citizenship, in exchange for an increase in border-security funding and large cuts to legal immigration. "The Republicans really don't have the votes to get it done in any other way. So it has to be bipartisan," the president told reporters Monday, after a swearing-in ceremony for Alex Azar as the new secretary of health and human services.
Donald Trump is expected to tout a long bull run on Wall Street and improving growth rates, something the White House is calling a "Trump bump" linked directly to the recent "Trump tax cut." "We worked on it hard, covered a lot of territory," Donald Trump said of the speech, "including our great success with the markets and with the tax cut."