As you’d expect, there is substantive coverage and reaction to the president’s address to Congress, which he delivered on Tuesday evening.
Only hours before his address, Mr. Trump had broken from his tough immigration stance in remarks at the White House, suggesting that legal status be granted to millions of undocumented immigrants who have not committed serious crimes. Many of Mr. Trump’s core supporters had denounced that approach as “amnesty” during the campaign.
But in his speech, Mr. Trump never mentioned legalizing undocumented people and over all held to the tough-on-immigration theme of his campaign.
“The time is right for an immigration bill as long as there is compromise on both sides,” the president said at the White House, according to people in attendance who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the meeting.
The Guardian’s Richard Wolffe was not impressed by what he heard.
He described a world in which dead factories would come back to life, drug addiction would end, inner cities would spring into prosperity, and the nation would be paved with gleaming new roads. Seriously, they are going to gleam because of this promise: “Above all else, we will keep our promises to the American people.”
This is the best promise of all. An A+ kind of promise, which we know to be true because this is the most principled and ethical government ever.
“We have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption by imposing a five-year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials, and a lifetime ban on becoming lobbyists for a foreign government,” said the president who sounds like he lobbies for Vladimir Putin. If you have any doubt about this, you should ask the Trump Organization’s ethics officer to check the president’s tax returns, just to be sure everything is kosher.
While Trump still offered some charged language — including his use of the term “radical Islamic terrorism” — the speech was notably less confrontational than his “American carnage” inaugural address. It was, in fact, by far the most unifying moment of his divisive and chaotic first 39 days in office.
It was the first speech in which he seemed semi-presidential. He mostly struck the right tone and made no big mistakes. Republicans were relieved. Rarely before had they stood so united behind their president as when he declared America’s claim to leadership, emphasized the partnership with Israel, stressed the fight against Islamists, and professed support for NATO.
It looks like his internal critics forgave the fact that Trump had described the North Atlantic defense alliance as “obsolete” just a few weeks ago and had looked to strengthen relations with Russia. In Congress, the words “Moscow” or “Russia” did not pass his lips. This is remarkable, particularly when following the American media, which has been speculating for weeks to what extent Trump’s campaign aides had regular contact to the Kremlin.