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For over an hour Tuesday night, Presidential Trump vied with pugnacious Trump.

The White House had promised a conciliatory and uplifting State of the Union speech, which stood to reason. It's one thing to inveigh against the mess Trump said he inherited a year ago and another to laud the job he claims to have done cleaning it up.

Gone, then, was the wreckage, the ruin and the dystopian "American carnage" he deplored in the glowering speech at his inauguration. Instead, Trump offered a vision of hopefulness and light — for a time, anyway.


On Tuesday afternoon, the White House said no decision had been made about releasing a controversial Republican memo on secret surveillance, and that President Trump hadn’t even read the document.

But at the end of his State of the Union address, the president suggested he had already made up his mind, once again undercutting his own administration’s talking points.

While exiting the House chamber Tuesday night, Trump was approached by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), who urged him to “release the memo.” A C-Span camera captured the moment.

(Win McNamee / Getty Images)

President Trump’s address was the most tweeted-about State of the Union in Twitter history.

Data from the social media giant indicated there were 4.5 million tweets sent with #SOTU or #JointAddress during the speech, breaking last year’s record of 3 million.

The most tweeted topics during the address were Trump saying “we stand for the national anthem,” his proposal for immigration reform, and MS-13. The most tweeted-about people were Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi and Melania Trump.

  • Immigration

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took to Twitter on Tuesday night to tell President Trump her view. The message: So-called Dreamers — an estimated 800,000 people who were brought to the United States illegally as children — are Americans too.

The San Francisco Democrat was responding to a portion of Trump’s State of the Union address in which he cited the current immigration system as a safety threat to American families and said he’d be willing to work with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to achieve reform.

“My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities and their right to the American dream,” Trump said. “Because Americans are dreamers too.”

President Trump’s State of the Union address clocked in at 80 minutes. 

In a deliberate tone, he delivered roughly 5,200 words.

President Clinton’s final State of the Union in 2000 took nearly 90 minutes. That speech was just over 9,000 words. 

  • White House
  • Environment
(Win McNamee / Getty Images)

President Trump announced in his State of the Union speech that his administration had “ended the war on beautiful, clean coal.”

It was a puzzling remark. Most of the coal plants Trump has tried to boost are hardly clean compared with other forms of energy. In fact, they create some of the most polluting power there is. 

But Trump repeatedly has confused plain old coal with “clean coal.”

Times journalists are annotating this speech. If you see a passage highlighted in yellow, you can click on it to see what we have to say about it. You can also highlight passages and leave your own comments.

(Associated Press)

President Trump had choice words in his State of the Union address for North Korea, citing the “depraved character” of its government for its “reckless pursuit” of nuclear weapons. 

But he did not propose new policies to confront North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with whom he has at times engaged in name-calling.

“No regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea,” Trump said. “North Korea's reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland.”

The entrance to Camp 5 and Camp 6 at the U.S. military's Guantanamo Bay detention center.
The entrance to Camp 5 and Camp 6 at the U.S. military's Guantanamo Bay detention center. (Ben Fox / Associated Press)

President Trump announced in his State of the Union that he would keep open the prison camp at the U.S. Navy station on Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, a campaign pledge that would reverse a long-held policy of the Obama administration.

In recent years, officials have been trying most captured terrorists in U.S. courts, with a high rate of conviction, but Trump signaled that he wants a different policy.

“Terrorists are not merely criminals, they are unlawful enemy combatants,” he said, using the military’s term for insurgents captured on the battlefield.