State of the Union
( Daily Caller ) It’s no secret that many Democrats stayed seated in an apparent act of protest throughout much of Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night.
At times, the Democrat’s acts of protest were seen as disrespectful, particularly when many members of the party refused to stand or applaud for Trump’s lines about America being “One nation under God” or standing “for our national anthem.”
From the press gallery, this reporter could see many on the Democrat side of the aisle speaking in hushed tones while Trump was speaking or playing on their phones during the speech.
A particularly sneaky photograph from Getty Images caught exactly what some Democrats were doing on their phones while Trump was speaking. A photo from Chip Somodevilla shows an unidentified Congressional Black Caucus member playing an iPhone game on her phone as Trump spoke.
THE 12 GREAT AMERICAN STORIES:
North Korean defector Ji Seong-hoArmy, Staff Sergeant Justin Peck , Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert, Americans like firefighter David Dahlberg, Congressman Steve Scalise, Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger of Staub Manufacturing , Corey Adams, Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, California, Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez, Ryan Holets, Albuquerque Police Department, Otto’s Parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier
‘THIS IS OUR NEW AMERICAN MOMENT.’ :DONALD TRUMP’S FIRST EVER STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert
We heard tales of Americans like Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert, who is here tonight in the gallery with Melania. Ashlee was aboard one of the first helicopters on the scene in Houston during Hurricane Harvey. Through 18 hours of wind and rain, Ashlee braved live power lines and deep water, to help save more than 40 lives. Thank you, Ashlee.
Americans like firefighter David Dahlberg
We heard about Americans like firefighter David Dahlberg. He is here with us too. David faced down walls of flame to rescue almost 60 children trapped at a California summer camp threatened by wildfires.
Congressman Steve Scalise.
Some trials over the past year touched this chamber very personally. With us tonight is one of the toughest people ever to serve in this House — a guy who took a bullet, almost died, and was back to work three and a half months later: the legend from Louisiana, Congressman Steve Scalise.
Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger of Staub Manufacturing
Here tonight are Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger of Staub Manufacturing — a small business in Ohio. They have just finished the best year in their 20-year history. Because of tax reform, they are handing out raises, hiring an additional 14 people, and expanding into the building next door.
One of Staub’s employees, Corey Adams, is also with us tonight. Corey is an all-American worker. He supported himself through high school, lost his job during the 2008 recession, and was later hired by Staub, where he trained to become a welder. Like many hardworking Americans, Corey plans to invest his tax‑cut raise into his new home and his two daughters’ education. Please join me in congratulating Corey.
Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, California
Here tonight is Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, California, who noticed that veterans’ graves were not marked with flags on Veterans Day. He decided to change that, and started a movement that has now placed 40,000 flags at the graves of our great heroes. Preston: a job well done.
Young patriots like Preston teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans. Preston’s reverence for those who have served our Nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.
Americans love their country. And they deserve a Government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return.
Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens.
Here tonight are two fathers and two mothers: Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens. Their two teenage daughters — Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens — were close friends on Long Island. But in September 2016, on the eve of Nisa’s 16th Birthday, neither of them came home. These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown. Six members of the savage gang MS-13 have been charged with Kayla and Nisa’s murders. Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors ‑- and wound up in Kayla and Nisa’s high school.
Evelyn, Elizabeth, Freddy, and Robert: Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you. Everyone in America is grieving for you. And 320 million hearts are breaking for you. We cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow, but we can make sure that other families never have to endure this pain.
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. We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, so that this cannot ever happen again.
Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez
Here tonight is one leader in the effort to defend our country: Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez — he goes by CJ. CJ served 15 years in the Air Force before becoming an ICE agent and spending the last 15 years fighting gang violence and getting dangerous criminals off our streets. At one point, MS-13 leaders ordered CJ’s murder. But he did not cave to threats or fear. Last May, he commanded an operation to track down gang members on Long Island. His team has arrested nearly 400, including more than 220 from MS-13.
CJ: Great work. Now let us get the Congress to send you some reinforcements.
Ryan Holets, Albuquerque Police Department
We see a vivid expression of this truth in the story of the Holets family of New Mexico. Ryan Holets is 27 years old, and an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department. He is here tonight with his wife Rebecca. Last year, Ryan was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin. When Ryan told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep. She told him she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby.
In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him: “You will do it — because you can.” He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids. Then, he went home to tell his wife Rebecca. In an instant, she agreed to adopt. The Holets named their new daughter Hope.
Ryan and Rebecca: You embody the goodness of our Nation. Thank you, and congratulations.
Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck
Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck is here tonight. Near Raqqa last November, Justin and his comrade, Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy, were on a mission to clear buildings that ISIS had rigged with explosives so that civilians could return to the city.
Clearing the second floor of a vital hospital, Kenton Stacy was severely wounded by an explosion. Immediately, Justin bounded into the booby-trapped building and found Kenton in bad shape. He applied pressure to the wound and inserted a tube to reopen an airway. He then performed CPR for 20 straight minutes during the ground transport and maintained artificial respiration through 2 hours of emergency surgery.
Kenton Stacy would have died if not for Justin’s selfless love for a fellow warrior. Tonight, Kenton is recovering in Texas. Raqqa is liberated. And Justin is wearing his new Bronze Star, with a “V” for “Valor.” Staff Sergeant Peck: All of America salutes you.
Otto’s Parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier
Otto Warmbier was a hardworking student at the University of Virginia. On his way to study abroad in Asia, Otto joined a tour to North Korea. At its conclusion, this wonderful young man was arrested and charged with crimes against the state. After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor, before returning him to America last June — horribly injured and on the verge of death. He passed away just days after his return.
Otto’s Parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, are with us tonight — along with Otto’s brother and sister, Austin and Greta. You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength inspires us all. Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto’s memory with American resolve.
Finally, we are joined by one more witness to the ominous nature of this regime. His name is Mr. Ji Seong-ho.
In 1996, Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea. One day, he tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps of food. In the process, he passed out on the train tracks, exhausted from hunger. He woke up as a train ran over his limbs. He then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain. His brother and sister gave what little food they had to help him recover and ate dirt themselves — permanently stunting their own growth. Later, he was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China. His tormentors wanted to know if he had met any Christians. He had — and he resolved to be free.
Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom. Most of his family followed. His father was caught trying to escape, and was tortured to death.
Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most ‑- the truth.
Today he has a new leg, but Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those crutches as a reminder of how far you have come. Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all.
Seong-ho’s story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom.
( Fox News ) It may pale in comparison to the size of his campaign rallies, but President Trump is still anticipating a full house when he delivers his first State of the Union (SOTU) address.
Trump will see a number of familiar faces as he pans the room from his podium Tuesday.
Several guests handpicked by the president will join first lady Melania Trump in the gallery. It’s a tradition that was started by former President Ronald Reagan in 1982.
“These individuals usually have performed an act of heroism or achieved an impressive milestone that illustrates an important theme in the president’s speech,” according to the Congressional Research Service. “At the appropriate time, the president acknowledges the guests seated adjacent to the first lady and identifies their particular contribution.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders revealed a list of special guests for Tuesday’s speech during a press briefing Monday afternoon.
FISA MEMO OFFICIALLY NAMES JAMES COMEY – GROWING CALLS FOR TRUMP TO READ MEMO DURING STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
The Daily Beast reports:
A controversial Republican memo alleging surveillance abuse specifically names FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein along with former FBI Director James Comey.
Capitol Hill sources on both sides of the aisle say the memo’s release is only a matter of time. And when it comes out, these current and former officials — all GOP bêtes noires — are likely to face even more criticism from the right over their involvement in FBI counterintelligence work.
Republicans, including Trump himself, have spent months attacking McCabe and Comey while special counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating Team Trump’s connections to the Kremlin. Rosenstein put that probe in place—a move Trump has derided as a witch hunt. […]
Rep. Chris Collins, a New York Republican, told The Daily Beast that Nunes has told Republicans his staff spent months putting the memo together
SARAH…..TELL TRUMP TO READ THE MEMO AT THE STATEOFTHE UNION SPEECH….
Drain The Swamp™ @BigStick2013
How awesome would it be for Trump to read “The Memo” at the Jan. 30th State of the Union “LIVE” ??? – Be watching
Resistance star Democrat Maxine Waters to skip President Trump first State of the Union address. Hey Maxine, why not ask all the Democrats to join you? We’d love to see that.
Rep. Maxine Waters says she will boycott Trump’s State of the Union, calls him a ‘liar’
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., on Friday became the latest Democrat to announce that she will not be attending President Trump’s State of the Union address later this month — amid growing Democratic plans to protest the event.
“Why would I take my time to go and sit and listen to a liar?” Waters said on MSNBC. “To someone who lies in the face of facts, someone who can change their tune day in and day out. What does he have to say that I would be interested in? I don’t trust him, I don’t appreciate him and I wouldn’t waste my time sitting in that house listening to what he has to say. He does not deserve my attention.”
Waters is the third Democrat so far to announce a boycott of the Jan 30. event, with Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., both saying that they would be skipping it too.
Lewis made his announcement Friday, citing reports that Trump had referred to some African countries as “s—holes” in a conversation with lawmakers about immigration.
“I cannot in all good conscience be in a room with what he has said about so many Americans,” Lewis said on MSNBC Friday. “I just cannot do it. I wouldn’t be honest with myself.”
Blumenauer said he would be skipping the event before Trump’s remarks became public, but said it would be a waste of time and that he was staying home.
( The Hill ) Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said she and other female House members are inviting lawmakers — both male and female — to wear black to President Trump‘s State of the Union address later this month in solidarity with the anti-sexual harassment “Me Too” and “Times Up” movements.