Trump urges America to 'choose greatness' in State of the Union address

WASHINGTON — Facing a divided Congress for the first time, President Donald Trump warned emboldened Democrats in his State of the Union speech Tuesday that "ridiculous partisan investigations" could derail economic progress.

[READ: State of the Union 2019: Who are the special guests?]

Trump peppered his speech with calls for bipartisanship, urging Washington to govern "not as two parties, but as one nation."

But his message clashed with the rancorous atmosphere he has helped cultivate in the nation's capital, as well as the desire of most Democrats to block his path during his next two years in office.

We'll breakdown the speeches on Channel 2 Action News This Morning starting at 4:30 a.m.

The president's remarks previewed how he planned to defend himself as Democrats launch a flurry of investigations into his administration and personal finances.

"If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation," he declared.

Trump's speech to lawmakers and the nation comes at a critical moment in his presidency. He pushed his party into a lengthy government shutdown over border security, only to cave to Democrats.

With another shutdown deadline looming, the president has few options for getting Congress to fund a border wall, and he risks further alienating his party if he tries to circumvent lawmakers by declaring a national emergency instead.


Trump made no mention of an emergency declaration his remarks. And though he offered a lengthy defense of his call for a border wall, he delivered no ultimatums about what it would take for him to sign legislation to keep the government open.

"I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and to our country," he said.

Trump, in concluding his State of the Union address, is urging Americans to "choose greatness."

Trump finished his 82-minute speech on an optimistic note, suggesting that "our biggest victories are still to come" and that "we have not yet begun to dream." And he urged the nation to not be "defined by our differences."

Stacey Abrams delivered the party's response to Trump. Abrams narrowly lost her bid in November to become America's first black female governor, and party leaders are aggressively recruiting her to run for U.S. Senate from Georgia.

Speaking from Atlanta, Abrams calls the shutdown a political stunt that "defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people, but our values."

"Our power and strength as Americans lives in our hard work and our belief in more. My family understood firsthand that while success is not guaranteed, we live in a nation where opportunity is possible. But we do not succeed alone," Abrams said in her address.

The selection of Abrams breaks from the tradition of having an elected member of the House or Senate give the opposition party’s much-watched response.

She also referenced voter suppression which was a controversial touch point in her own gubernatorial race, saying "we can no longer ignore these threats to democracy."

"While I acknowledge the results of the 2018 election here in Georgia, I did not and we cannot accept efforts to undermine our right to vote," Abrams said.

"We fought Jim Crow with the civil rights act and the voting rights act. Yet we continue to confront racism from our past and in our present, which is why we must hold everyone from the highest offices to our own families accountable for racist words and deeds and call racism what it is, wrong."


10:50 p.m.: Abrams finishes her statement.

10:48 p.m.: Abrams brings up her campaign

10:45 p.m.: Abrams blames Republicans for hurting middle class

10:43 p.m.: Abrams called shutdown a stunt.

10:41 p.m.: Abrams starts off talking about her family

10:40 p.m.: Stacey Abrams gives Democratic response to the State of the Union.

10:28 p.m.: President Trump ending his speech as he started, talking about unity.

10:20 p.m.: President Trump honors Judah Samet, who survived Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.

10:18 p.m.: President Trump honors Timothy Matson who was injured in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.

10:10 p.m.: Trump announces meeting with N. Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

10:06 p.m.: Trump announces US will withdraw from INF treaty.

10:04 p.m.: President wants to stop late term abortions:

10:01 p.m.: President Trump pledges to introduce bill for national paid family leave.

9:58 p.m.: President Trump introduces Grace Eline, as he announces pledge to fight childhood cancer.

9:57 p.m.: President Trump pledges to end HIV epidemic in country in the next 10 years

9:55 p.m.: President Trump says he's ready for deal to take care of our infrastructure.

9:48 p.m.: President Trump recognizes record number of women now serving in Congress:

9:45 p.m.: President Trump promises to get boarder wall built.

9:42 p.m. President Trump honors special agent who targets sex trafficking.

9:36 p.m.: President on immigration:

9:33 p.m.: President Trump says he has ordered another 3,750 troops to the border.

9:25 p.m.: President Trump calls the economy a miracle economy:

9:22 p.m.: President Trump honors astronaut Buzz Aldrin:

9:16 p.m.: President Trump calls for an end of "revenge politics."

9:08 p.m.: President Trump stresses a message of unity at the beginning of his speech.

9:03 p.m.: President Trump enters the House floor.

8:58 p.m.: First Lady Melania Trump has entered the gallery.

8:56 p.m.: Several justices of the Supreme Court have just entered the gallery.

8:49 p.m.: Energy Secretary Rick Perry is the "designated survivor" for this year's State of the Union.