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State of the Union: Trump interrupted by chanting as Pelosi rips up address on live TV

Follow the latest updates, as they happened

Clark Mindock
New York
,Alex Woodward
Wednesday 05 February 2020 04:42 GMT
Nancy Pelosi rips up Trump's State of the Union speech in front of him

Donald Trump has delivered his third State of the Union, a high-profile address made this year in the shadow of an ongoing impeachment trial and months away from the president's re-election.

The optimistic speech came just a day after Democrats oversaw a breakdown in its election processes in Iowa, where the 2020 Democratic primary season got off to a disastrous start that has still failed to deliver results nearly a day later.

But Mr Trump's speech was not without its own discord. Just before the address, the president was seen appearing to snub a handshake attempt from Ms Pelosi.

Then, after the speech, Ms Pelosi added to the night's drama by tearing up her copy of the speech, in plain view of the president and the cameras broadcasting the address across the nation.

The president had focused in his address on perceived victories over the past three years, and has remarked on his priorities for the coming year, reportedly including middle class tax cuts, school choice, immigration and the military.

He told one Philadelphia student that she would be getting a school scholarship, surprised a military family with the return of their soldier from Afghanistan and also instructed the first lady to give Rush Limbaugh the presidential medal of freedom, the highest honour for a citizen in the US.

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House impeachment manager quotes Harry Potter in Senate

"It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities," said Colorado Democrat Jason Crow during yesterday's closing arguments, invoking Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore as he implored Republican senators to do the right thing.

Joe Sommerlad4 February 2020 13:00

Rush Limbaugh announces advanced lung cancer diagnosis

Conservative talk radio stalwart Rush Limbaugh - arguably the forerunner of the populist, opinion-based broadcasting style Fox News has so weaponised in the post-Clinton era - announced yesterday that he is suffering from lung cancer.

Trump regularly golfs with Limbaugh and yesterday took to Twitter - along with many other prominent right-wingers and Tulsi Gabbard - to wish him well. 

Here's Clark Mindock's report.

Joe Sommerlad4 February 2020 13:25

Sean Hannity mocked with photo of Trump kissing Ivanka after calling Biden 'creepy'

We're still waiting from some coherent results from the Iowa caucus but here are two little incidents from yesterday you might have missed.

After Fox blowhard Sean Hannity mocked Joe Biden for kissing his granddaughter Finnegan on the lips (which was, admittedly, a little weird) by conducting a poll about whether it was "creepy" or not on Twitter, he was deluged with images of his hero - Donald J Trump - being even more uncomfortably intimate with his daughter Ivanka. 

The candidate's wife, Dr Jill Biden, meanwhile told CNN that her family is no longer on friendly terms with South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham over his pursuit of Joe and Hunter during the impeachment process.

"Now, he's changed," Dr Biden said. "I don't know what happened to Lindsey... It's hard when you consider somebody a friend and then they've said so many negative things. That's been a little hurtful."

Here's Chelsea Ritschel on Hannity's latest #fail.

Joe Sommerlad4 February 2020 13:50

Trump says Iowa will remain first-in-the-nation 'as long as I am president'

In the last hour, Trump has refused to blame the state of Iowa for the Democratic caucus blunder and said he would oppose any motion to replace it as the first state to cast its vote in presidential elections.

But he has also not been able to resist mocking the situation, retweeting the following...

Joe Sommerlad4 February 2020 14:10

'Trump is laughing his a** off'

While the president is attempting to look concerned for the sake of democracy over the Iowa debacle (not very convincingly - remember the Ukraine scandal?), the likes of Meghan McCain believe, in private, he is enjoying all this enormously.

That Scavino retweet would appear to indicate she's right.

Chris Riotta has more on the conservative response.

Joe Sommerlad4 February 2020 14:30

'The Iowa caucus fiasco is a metaphor for the state of US democracy'

For Indy Premium, Matthew Norman says that this embarrassment is in danger of ingraining the notion of Democrats – their candidates, by unfair association, as well as their electoral organisers – as hapless amateurs who couldn’t oversee a church tombola without recourse to legal action.

Joe Sommerlad4 February 2020 14:50

Iowa Democrats are attributing last night's disastrous reporting problems following the caucus votes to a "coding issue".

The party plans to release results "as soon as possible today" but precinct reports are still incoming.

Alex Woodward4 February 2020 15:03

Trump celebrates 'victory' in Iowa

Donald Trump's Iowa victory lap continues on Twitter, with a dozen retweets mocking Democrats and universal health care, making a claim that Democrats are blaming Russia for the technical difficulties delaying caucus results, and celebrating his 97 per cent win, which was inevitable for the incumbent.

Most state Republican parties have cancelled their primaries, with Mr Trump as the presumptive nominee. "Winning" Iowa was another chance for the president to take some attention away from Democrats. It's only a big "win" relative to his second-place finish in 2016 (to Ted Cruz).

He'll have his "win" and near-acquittal from his impeachment as he heads into the State of the Union address tonight.

Alex Woodward4 February 2020 15:19

Pelosi: Democrats 'pulled back a veil of behaviour' with Trump's impeachment

On the eve of Donald Trump's likely acquittal in his impeachment trial, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells the New York Times that it was always inevitable as she braces for the fallout. "Republican detractors say she put moderate Democrats in political peril and weakened the House inquiry by failing to wage a prolonged legal fight to obtain critical testimony that the president was blocking," the Times says.

But her long game, looking ahead to 2020 elections, is to expose the president as unfit for office and make his Republican allies look complicit, even getting their admission that he did do something wrong, though they may not have considered "removal from office" the appropriate response. For the House Speaker, the impeachment wasn't just aimed at the president but the party structure that supports him.

She said: “I think that we have pulled back a veil of behaviour totally unacceptable to our founders, and that the public will see this with a clearer eye, an unblurred eye ... Whatever happens, he has been impeached forever. And now these senators, though they don’t have the courage to assign the appropriate penalty, at least are recognizing that he did something wrong.”

Alex Woodward4 February 2020 15:42

Trump ratings hit record high as Democrats flounder in Iowa chaos

The latest Gallup poll results show Donald Trump with his highest approval rating yet since taking office in 2017. 

He's at 49 per cent, with a 50 per cent disapproval rating, and 1 per cent in the "undecided" camp.

Trump pulls selectively from the results amid his celebratory morning after the caucus disaster.

Alex Woodward4 February 2020 16:15

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