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(Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

In his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Trump steered clear of any reference to the special counsel investigation that has shadowed his administration. 

It was a noteworthy omission since the president has rarely shied away from expressing his thoughts on a probe that he has derided as a “hoax” and a “witch hunt.”

By ignoring the investigation, Trump followed the example set by former President Clinton. 

Airstrikes target Islamic State positions in Mosul, Iraq, in 2017.
Airstrikes target Islamic State positions in Mosul, Iraq, in 2017. (Felipe Dana)

President Trump said that the coalition to defeat Islamic State has liberated very close to 100% of the territory held by the militants in Iraq and Syria, and in other locations as well.

The group’s self-styled caliphate has indeed collapsed, and the number of active fighters in Iraq and Syria has plummeted. But experts warn that as many as 10,000 Islamic State loyalists could remain in the two countries.

Islamic State also retains active branches elsewhere in the Middle East, Africa and Asia — a potent threat underscored by recent deadly bombings in Afghanistan and Egypt's restive North Sinai region.

(Associated Press)

Still angered by the refusal of  most nations to support his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, President Trump said he wants U.S. foreign assistance to go only to America’s “friends.”

Trump used his State of the Union address to urge Congress to pass legislation that would “help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to friends of America.”

He repeated a theme he has sounded since the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn Trump’s Dec. 6 Jerusalem decision, suggesting he might cut U.S. aid to countries who don’t support American actions and policies overseas. 

We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and to our allies.

I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated very close to 100% of the territory just recently held by these killers in Iraq and Syria and in other locations as well. But there is much more work to be done. We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated.

  • White House
  • Immigration
(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

In calling for an end to chain migration as one of four pillars of his immigration plan, President Trump said in his State of the Union address the current system allows a single immigrant to “bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.”

Some Democrats in the chamber booed and grumbled at the term “chain migration.”

Trump said his plan would “focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children.”

I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminal gangs, to break into our country. We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol agents — these are great, great people who work so hard in the midst of such danger — so that this cannot ever happen again.

Every federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with state and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private-sector investment to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit, and we can do it.

(Jim Lo Scalzo / Associated Press)

President Trump said that Americans’ paychecks have at last turned the corner.

“After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages,” he declared.

But wage gains, in fact, have barely budged for the typical American worker.

In his address, President Trump singled out 12-year-old Preston Sharp of Redding, Calif., as a symbol of American patriotism.

Preston, who sat next to First Lady Melania Trump during the speech, noticed undecorated veterans graves when visiting his grandfather’s grave in the Redding Memorial Park on Veterans Day in 2015.

Since then, Preston has placed flowers and more than 40,000 American flags on the graves of veterans as part of the Flags and Flowers Challenge.