State of the Union: Donald Trump speech to emphasise bipartisanship and unity

Donald Trump is set to adopt a tone of bipartisanship at the State of the Union as he rallies support for infrastructure and immigration reform. 

The speech, one of Mr Trump’s most high-profile since taking office, has been themed around “building a safe, strong and proud America”. 

White House officials have briefed that Mr Trump will have a “unifying” message that will touch on the need to “transcend party differences”. 

Mr Trump needs votes from Democrats to secure funding for the Mexican border wall and approve an infrastructure spending plan costing more than $1 trillion. 

It comes after a year when Republicans forced though the biggest tax reforms in three decades without support of the Democrats in the Senate.

In the past Mr Trump’s rhetoric, lashing out at congressmen from both political parties via Twitter, has drawn criticism from Capitol Hill. 

The United States Capitol in Washington, DCCredit:
Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The US president will offer a nod to the “forgotten men and women” he pledged to represent by inviting little-known Americans to the speech. 

A welder saving more money for his daughters’ education thanks to tax cuts and parents of children killed by the El Salvadorian gang MS-13 will be among his guests. 

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Others include a veteran who lost his sight and both legs fighting in Iraq and a young campaigner who has placed more than 40,000 US flags on soldiers’ graves. 

However a number of Democrats will attempt to shine a light on Mr Trump’s own past by inviting campaigners of the “me too” movement against sexual harassment. 

The State of the Union is one of the biggest US political speeches of the year and is watched by a television audience of tens of millions. 

“The speech will make clear that all groups are benefitting under this presidency,” a senior US official said. 

Melania Trump, the president’s wife, is expected to attend in her most prominent public appearance since reports of his alleged affair with an ex-porn star surfaced. 

Mr Trump allegedly had a fling with the former adult model known as Stormy Daniels, according to an interview she gave in 2011. Mr Trump’s lawyer has denied the affair.

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