WASHINGTON: U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned Democrats against engaging in "ridiculous partisan investigations" that he said could contribute to a weakening of the American economy.
In his State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress, Trump said: "An economic miracle is taking place in the United States and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations."
His remarks came as Democrats who now control the U.S. House of Representatives planned a series of probes into the Trump administration and a special prosecutor investigates Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election that Trump won.
* Trump told Americans illegal immigration was an urgent national crisis and he vowed to build a border wall as he sought funding for a project rejected by Democrats.
"In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall, but the proper wall never got built. I will get it built," Trump said in the highly anticipated speech before a joint session of the U.S. Congress, with his main Democratic adversary, new House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, watching over his shoulder.
Trump used part of his speech to offer a spirit of compromise, but whether Trump and his opponents would follow through was far from clear with both sides entrenched in long-held positions and girding for 2020 elections.
The Republican president appeared in the House chamber just weeks after his demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall triggered a historic 35-day partial government shutdown that more than half of Americans blamed him for, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.
The nationally televised address gave Trump his biggest opportunity to date to explain why he believes a barrier is needed on the U.S. southern border with Mexico. The speech was delayed for a week because of the shutdown, which ended on Jan. 25.
* Trump will hold a two-day summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un Feb. 27-28 in Vietnam to try to convince him to give up his nuclear weapons programme.
The announcement was made in Trump’s prepared remarks the White House released for his Tuesday night State of the Union address.
Trump has said that his outreach to Kim and their first meeting last June in Singapore opened a path to peace.
But there is not yet a concrete plan for how denuclearization could be implemented.
U.S. intelligence chiefs believe there is little likelihood Kim will voluntarily give up his nuclear weapons or missiles capable of carrying them. Private analysts reviewing commercial satellite imagery have assessed that the North is still developing nuclear and missile technology despite suspending tests
* Trump used his State of the Union address to call for a new era of cooperation to break “decades” of political gridlock and unlock America’s promise.
”We can make our communities safer, our families stronger, our culture richer, our faith deeper, and our middle class bigger and more prosperous than ever before,” Trump said.
”But we must reject the politics of revenge, resistance, and retribution -- and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise, and the common good. Together, we can break decades of political stalemate.”. - Reuters
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