Trump Fires Back At Nancy Pelosi’s Letter, Says State Of The Union Will Go On

In a letter to the California Democrat on Wednesday, the president dismissed Pelosi’s stated concerns about security in the wake of the lapse in appropriations and said he would go forward with the address as planned.

Pelosi, who was elected House speaker this month after Democrats won control of the chamber, extended the traditional invitation to Trump on Jan. 3 to deliver a State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress. Last week, she asked the president to delay the speech or to deliver it in written form, citing security concerns due to the government shutdown.

Her request sparked heated debate between the president and congressional Democrats, as well as speculation about how Trump might respond.

Despite several reports this week that the president was considering delivering the address at an alternate location, or even turning it into a rally, it quickly became apparent Trump planned to move forward with an address at the Capitol as planned. 

In his letter on Wednesday, the president noted that Pelosi’s original invitation to deliver the speech came two weeks after the start of the shutdown, which began on Dec. 22. He also said he had received word from the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service that security wouldn’t be an issue at the event.

“Therefore, I will be honoring your invitation, and fulfilling my Constitutional duty, to deliver important information to the people and Congress of the United States of America regarding the State of the Union,” Trump wrote.

Pelosi’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The president said he looked forward to seeing the House speaker for the address on Jan. 29, writing, “It would be so very sad for our Country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!”

This story has been updated with additional background information.

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