Amid Notes of Unity, Trump Stands His Ground

President Trump stood by his pledge to build a border wall in a tempered but dissonant State of the Union speech that called for bipartisan cooperation to break Washington gridlock as the only way to achieve “American greatness.”

Striking a far less combative tone than he invokes at his campaign-style rallies, Trump began his remarks to a divided Congress and the nation on a conciliatory note, arguing that voters are hoping that “we will govern not as two parties, but one nation.”

“Together, we can break decades of political stalemate,” he said. “There is a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage together to seize it. Victory is not winning for our party. Victory is winning for our country.”

The president, who is known for his gut punches on Twitter at political foes in both parties, just two weeks ago grounded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s government plane before her planned travel to Afghanistan in a high-profile tit-for-tat after she disinvited him to deliver the State of the Union address during the government shutdown.

On Tuesday night, however, Trump never directly acknowledged the 35-day shutdown or his acutely personal showdown with Pelosi over border wall funding. Instead, he appeared to disassociate himself from the entire episode, calling on both parties to reject the “politics of revenge, resistance and retribution” and embrace “compromise and the common good.”
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