The president’s annual State of the Union address is not simply a speech; it’s a live performance. The American public watches from home, hanging as much on the president’s words as Congress’s reactions to them.
During President Trump’s hour-long address Tuesday night, there was sitting, standing and applauding. House Democratic women wore white, a nod to 19th-century suffragists, and the entire joint session sang “Happy Birthday” to an 81-year-old Holocaust survivor. Both parties broke into chants of “USA!” Washington Post photographers were in the room, capturing the mood. We aligned their camera timestamps to a video feed of the speech — and packaged them together here.
“Members of Congress: The state of our union is strong.”
“My administration has sent to Congress a common-sense proposal to end the crisis on the southern border. It includes humanitarian assistance, more law enforcement, drug detection at our ports, closing loopholes that enable child smuggling and plans for a new physical barrier, or wall, to secure the vast areas between our ports of entry.
In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall, but the proper wall never got built. I will get it built.”
“Simply put, walls work and walls save lives. So let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America safe.”
“Don’t sit yet: You’re going to like this — and exactly one century after Congress passed the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in Congress than at any time before.”
“Tonight I am also asking you to join me in another fight that all Americans can get behind: the fight against childhood cancer.”
“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.”
“If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea. Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one.”
“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by the new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence — and not government coercion, domination and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”
“Tonight we are also joined by Pittsburgh survivor Judah Samet. He arrived at the synagogue as the massacre began. But not only did Judah narrowly escape death last fall — more than seven decades ago, he narrowly survived the Nazi concentration camps. Today is Judah’s 81st birthday.”
[Audience sings “Happy Birthday”]
“Thank you, God bless you. And God bless America.”