President of the United States Donald Trump delivered his maiden State of the Union speech to Congress, proclaiming a ‘new American moment’ characterized by prosperity, rebuilding and cooperation.
In a primetime address, Trump said that his administration was “building a safe, strong and proud America”.
“There has never been a better time to start living the American dream”, he told lawmakers in a one-hour-and-20-minute speech, making it one of the longest-running State of the Union speeches in history.
The Republican leader said he was “extending an open hand” to Democrats to work together, but he insisted on a border wall with Mexico and other concessions from Democrats as part of any over-arching immigration deal.
Trump also said he was ordering Guantanamo Bay to be kept open, reversing an Obama-era directive to close the controversial detention camp.
As many as 40 million television viewers were expected to tune in as he implored the nation to come together as “one team, one people and one American family”, the BBC reported.
CNBC reported that on paper, the text of Trump’s carefully crafted speech was filled with optimism and energy. “But the President delivered the address in a reserved tone, and at times he appeared tired”. Earlier in the day, according to CNBC, White House officials had told reporters the President’s speech would be ‘positive’, and ‘bright and optimistic’.
Meanwhile, CNN noted that the evening began with a precedent-breaking move by Melania Trump: instead of riding to the Capitol with her husband, the first lady arrived to the building early to meet one-on-one with her invited guests.
“Presidents and first ladies typically travel to the speech together”, CNN reported, reminding that Melania Trump has not appeared in public with her husband since reports emerged last week that Trump allegedly had an affair with a porn star.