Washington – President Donald Trump declared his annual State of the Union address “canceled” on Wednesday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent word she would bar him from delivering the speech in the House chamber while parts of the government remain shut down.
The back-and-forth escalated one of the rancorous subplots of the extended standoff over border security that has shuttered several government agencies and forced hundreds of thousands of federal workers to go unpaid. Even as the two leaders sent each other letters dripping with barely veiled disgust, they did not plan to meet face-to-face and haven’t spoken directly in weeks.
After receiving Pelosi’s message, Trump railed against Democrats and indicated he would announce plans for an alternative address in due course. Officials have suggested options including a speech from the White House or a rally outside of Washington.
“The State of the Union speech has been canceled by Nancy Pelosi because she doesn’t want to hear the truth. She doesn’t want the American public to hear what’s going on, and she’s afraid of the truth,” Trump said from the Cabinet Room after Pelosi made her intentions known in a letter.