Trump Bends to Pelosi’s Will, Accepts Postponement of SOTU

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America

In the end to a dramatic day of symbolic assertions of power and mastery between President Donald Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Trump bent to Pelosi’s will and agreed to delay the annual State of the Union address until after the month-long government shutdown concludes.

Trump appeared to concede defeat in the standoff in two late evening tweets.

The drama began shortly after noon eastern when President Trump released a letter asserting that he would appear for the State of the Union address, despite Pelosi clearly signaling he should not deliver the speech until the government shutdown concluded. The White House apparently envisioned days of drama in which Pelosi was forced to choose between either conceding to Trump’s demands or explicitly disinviting him.

She didn’t take long.

Less than two hours later Pelosi replied with her own letter explicitly rescinding her inviting and stating that the House would not host the speech.

Appearing alternatively surprised and angry, Trump lashed out at Pelosi in brief White House press availabilities in the late afternoon. But by late evening the White House had apparently decided that it would be a mistake to seek an alternative venue or hold one of the President’s campaign-style rallies in lieu of the traditional speech in the House chamber.

Pelosi and Trump that the speech will be held after the government reopens.

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