Against a sharply partisan backdrop, President Donald Trump on Tuesday declared the nation was “stronger than ever before."
He delivered his State of the Union address on the eve of his likely impeachment acquittal and in the aftermath of the chaotic first votes of the race to replace him.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivered the Democratic Party's response.
State of the Union: The Trump Years
The first president to run for reelection after being impeached, Trump received a raucously divided welcome to the House of Representatives, with some Republicans chanting “Four More Years” while Democrats stood silently.
Trump invited special guests to help him highlight key themes in Tuesday's State of the Union address.
Among those invited was an Oklahoma mother who lost her Army husband to a roadside bomb in Iraq. Another guest was a California man whose brother was killed by someone the White House contends should have been deported rather than released from jail. Other guests helped illustrate Trump's advocacy for school choice and opportunity zones.
And conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh was there to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, during the address. Limbaugh, 69, is a staunch Trump supporter. He announced Monday he is battling advanced lung cancer.
A bearded Limbaugh, seated next to first lady Melania Trump, looked stunned as the president announced the award. He eventually stood and saluted Trump and offered a thumbs-up to Republicans in the House chamber.
A protester interrupted the president's State of the Union speech by shouting at him to do something about gun violence. The protester appeared to be Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter, Jamie, was among 17 people killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018.
Guttenberg is a well-known visitor to Capitol Hill advocating for gun violence prevention. He interrupted a section of Trump's speech about support for the Second Amendment. Guttenberg was the guest of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's. He tweeted his thanks to her earlier Tuesday for the invitation and her “commitment” to “dealing with gun violence.”