Sunday May 31st, 2020 1:58AM

Women will surround Trump at State of the Union address

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pelosi behind and above. Female immigrants, gazing down from the balcony. A black woman who ran a close race for governor of Georgia, rebutting.

When President Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union address under divided government on Tuesday, he'll be surrounded by these and other living reminders of the 2018 elections that delivered Democrats the House majority and a record number of women to Congress.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will sit just over his shoulder on the dais, on-camera, looking out at the assembled lawmakers, Cabinet members, Supreme Court justices and diplomats. Seated in front of Trump will be a record number of women House members, most Democrats and some dressed in easy-to-spot white. And in the gallery overhead? Two former employees of Trump's New Jersey golf club, women and immigrants, who have spoken out about its hiring practices.

Afterward, Stacey Abrams will become the first black woman to deliver the Democratic rebuttal.

"I hope she does a good job. I respect her," Trump said Thursday of Abrams, who narrowly lost the race for Georgia governor to the president's ally, Brian Kemp. The president pledged to deliver a speech rooted in a theme of "unity," even as he renewed his demand for a border wall as a condition of keeping the government open past Feb. 15. Before he spoke in the Oval Office Thursday, Pelosi again rebuffed the demand and belittled him on national security matters.

Trump will give his speech Tuesday before a joint session of Congress at a sensitive time in talks to prevent agencies from shuttering after the longest government shutdown in history. Members of Congress are inviting federal workers who went without pay for 35 days and are worried about a repeat.

But the striking visual is shaping up to be the new lawmakers who will be arrayed around the president, who were elected in the wake of Trump's inflammatory statements about women, immigrants, Muslims and more.

Two female immigrants will be among the lawmakers' guests and seated in the gallery above the House chamber. One is Victorina Morales, who worked for one of Trump's clubs in New Jersey for years even though she was born in Guatemala and lived in the U.S. illegally. Morales, a guest of New Jersey Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, said in an interview that she feels respectful toward the president. But she does have a message for him after years of hearing Trump describe immigrants as a scourge that takes jobs from Americans.

"Forget about the wall, stop separating families and focus on immigration reform," she said in an interview with The Associated Press, conducted in Spanish.

Another woman who cleaned the president's clothes and made his bed at his Bedminster club is attending the address, too.

Sandra Diaz, 46, a native of Costa Rica who worked at Trump's club from 2010 to 2013, will be attending as a guest of Democratic Rep. Jimmy Gomez of California, according to the lawyer for both women, Anibal Romero. Diaz told the AP last month that she was also hired without legal papers and supervisors at the club knew it. She is now a legal permanent U.S. resident. Diaz said she decided to speak out because she is angry about the president describing immigrants as violent.

Abrams speaks both before and after Trump. The Georgia Democrat, heavily courted by Democrats to run for a Senate seat in 2020, lost her bid to be the nation's first African-American woman governor after a protracted fight.

On Sunday, she will take her push for voting rights to the airwaves in her home state during the Super Bowl. Abrams' political group, Fair Fight, has bought airtime on Georgia affiliates broadcasting the game so she can push for election law changes.

Abrams said she'll speak about inclusion "at a moment when our nation needs to hear from leaders who can unite for a common purpose."


Associated Press writers Luis Alonso Lugo in Washington, Bill Barrow in Atlanta and Bernard Condon in New York contributed to this report.


Follow Kellman on Twitter at and Alonso Lugo at

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online President, White House, advisers News, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, General House Election News
© Copyright 2020
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Schultz faces hometown protests as he eyes 2020 bid
Sonics fans, worried Democrats will greet talk by former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz as he returns to Seattle
1:35AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Bangladesh sues Manila-based bank in NY over heist
Bangladesh central bank sues Philippine bank in New York court over 2016 heist of $81 million
1:32AM ( 16 minutes ago )
AP WAS THERE: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Iran
AP WAS THERE: Exiled Shiite leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, returns to Iran in 1979, ahead of Islamic Revolution
1:25AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Women will surround Trump at State of the Union address
Women, powerful Democrats. Immigrants _ all living reminders of the 2018 election, will surround Trump as he delivers the State of the Union
12:42AM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump, Pelosi remain far apart on the border wall issue
Pelosi, Trump remarks suggest congressional bargainers may never satisfy his demands on wall
12:37AM ( 1 hour ago )
Midwest awaits spring-like thaw just days after bitter cold
Midwest awaits spring-like thaw just days after bitter cold; temperatures could climb by 80 degrees
12:26AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
US expected to announce treaty withdrawal as soon as Friday
The Trump administration is poised to announce Friday that it is withdrawing from a nuclear arms treaty that has been a centerpiece of superpower arms control since the waning days of the Cold War
11:33PM ( 2 hours ago )
Venezuela opposition leader to police: Leave my family alone
The Venezuelan opposition leader challenging Nicolas Maduro's claim to the presidency warned officers from a feared state security unit Thursday to stay away from his family after he accused them of showing up at his apartment
10:38PM ( 3 hours ago )
Opioid maker considered profiting off addiction treatment
Newly disclosed court documents reveal that the company behind a prescription painkiller at the heart of the nation's overdose crisis considered marketing anti-addiction drugs
10:35PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Throngs gather near Japan embassy to mourn SKorean sex slave
Hundreds are gathering near the Japanese Embassy for the funeral of a South Korean woman forced as a girl into a brothel and sexually enslaved by the Japanese military in WWII
11:27PM ( 2 hours ago )
Bill Cosby victim settles defamation suit with ex-prosecutor
The victim in Bill Cosby's criminal sex-assault trial has settled a defamation lawsuit filed against a former prosecutor who said she added details to her story over time
8:21PM ( 5 hours ago )
PG&E must deal with problem that bankruptcy won't end: fires
Bankruptcy won't let the nation's biggest utility escape the danger that caused it financial peril in the first place
8:16PM ( 5 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Hometown protest greets Schultz as he eyes 2020 bid
"Grande ego. Venti mistake": That was the message protesters had for former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz as he returned to his hometown of Seattle on Thursday after announcing that he's mulling an independent run for president
11:32PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump says he's 'set the stage' for wall action
President Donald Trump says he has "set the stage" to take action on his own if lawmakers don't provide funding for his border wall
9:29PM ( 4 hours ago )
Eyeing 2020, Brown tests pro-worker theme in Iowa towns
Democrat Sherrod Brown is making his first trip to Iowa as a presidential prospect
9:26PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Trump to say when, where he'll hold 2nd North Korean summit
President Donald Trump said he will likely announce the site and date of a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during the State of the Union address on Tuesday
7:04PM ( 6 hours ago )
Trump says State of the Union address to stress 'unity'
Trump says he respects Democrat Stacey Abrams, hopes 'she does a good job' responding to his State of the Union address
1:21PM ( 12 hours ago )
Dems see future in Abrams as she prepares Trump rebuttal
Stacey Abrams will be doing more than rebutting President Donald Trump next week
4:12PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online President, White House, advisers News
In reversal, Trump says he and intel chiefs on 'same page'
A day after he lashed out at intelligence agency leaders over their assessments of global threats, President Donald Trump abruptly reversed course and said he and the intelligence community "are all on the same page.''
6:45PM ( 7 hours ago )
The Latest: 4 House freshmen urge against more ICE funding
Four House freshmen are urging congressional negotiators to not increase spending for Immigration and Customs Enforcement
6:08PM ( 7 hours ago )
The Latest: Pence praises DEA help in convict Maduro allies
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has congratulated the Drug Enforcement Administration for helping bring drug trafficking convictions against several members of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's family and inner circle
5:38PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
South Carolina Dems overwhelmed by flood of 2020 contenders
With possibly two-dozen candidates entering the 2020 presidential field and flooding early-voting states, South Carolina Democrats are feeling overwhelmed
5:32PM ( 8 hours ago )
Bernie Sanders pitches new tax plan hitting ultra-wealthy
Bernie Sanders has released a plan to significantly raise taxes on the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans
3:20PM ( 10 hours ago )
Schultz faces hometown protests as he eyes 2020 bid
Sonics fans, worried Democrats will greet talk by former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz as he returns to Seattle
3:00PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Elections
The Latest: Mexico, Uruguay plan conference on Venezuela
The governments of Mexico and Uruguay are calling for an international conference of neutral countries to jump start a dialogue between Venezuelans
5:33PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: US senators urge EU to back Venezuela opposition
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators says they will urge European countries to recognize Venezuelan congress leader Juan Guaido as the interim president of the South American country
4:52PM ( 1 day ago )
Review of Wisconsin voting machines could be made public
Election security experts are watching a Wisconsin court case that could end with the first public conclusions on whether ballot-counting machines were hacked or performed poorly
1:09PM ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
Muted political tone at largest Koch donor network meeting
A record-breaking number of wealthy donors have gathered at conservative billionaire industrialist Charles Koch's private weekend retreat, where leaders of the powerful political network have taken a decidedly different, more politically muted tone.
8:18PM ( 5 days ago )
The Latest: Pelosi cites Stone as example of Trump's circle
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the arrest of former Donald Trump campaign adviser Roget Stone in the special counsel's Russia probe has nothing to do with the president
10:54AM ( 6 days ago )
Kentucky GOP lawmakers order recount in House election
Republican lawmakers in Kentucky order recount of state House election in which the GOP candidate lost by one vote
8:16PM ( 1 week ago )
General House Election News
Bangladesh sues Manila-based bank in NY over heist
Bangladesh central bank sues Philippine bank in New York court over 2016 heist of $81 million
1:32AM ( 16 minutes ago )
AP WAS THERE: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Iran
AP WAS THERE: Exiled Shiite leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, returns to Iran in 1979, ahead of Islamic Revolution
1:25AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Stone heads to court; Mueller cites potential evidence trove
Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone is due back in court in the special counsel's Russia investigation
1:12AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Embiid, 76ers spoil DeMarcus Cousins' home Warriors debut
Joel Embiid had 26 points and 20 rebounds to spoil DeMarcus Cousins' home debut with the Warriors, and the Philadelphia 76ers snapped Golden State's NBA-best 11-game winning streak with a 113-104 victory
1:10AM ( 38 minutes ago )
In reversal, Trump now says he and intel chiefs in agreement
Abruptly reversing course, President Donald Trump is now saying he and the intelligence community "are all on the same page" regarding global threats
1:08AM ( 40 minutes ago )