rain.png
Monday February 24th, 2020 6:33PM

Guests help Trump highlight State of the Union themes

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — A mother who lost her Army husband to a roadside bomb in Iraq. A man whose brother was killed by someone the White House contends should have been deported rather than released from jail. A 2-year-old girl born at 21 weeks.

The three individuals are some of the “real people” who helped President Donald Trump highlight key messages in the State of the Union address he delivered Tuesday night.

Invited by the White House, the guests sat in the House chamber, high up in the gallery. Conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh sat alongside first lady Melania Trump and was presented the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor bestowed by presidents. Limbaugh has spent his career attacking and disparaging Democratic lawmakers and leaders, and recently announced he has cancer. Trump called him the “greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet."

When Trump looked up at Kelli and Gage Hake of Stillwater, Oklahoma, he reminded the nation about the targeted drone strike he ordered in January that killed Qassem Soleimani, then Iran's top military commander.

Kelli Hake was home with Gage, then 1-year-old, in the spring of 2008 when she was informed that her husband, Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Hake, had been killed during his second tour of duty in Iraq. The White House claims the sergeant's fighting vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb supplied by Soleimani.

Trump has said he ordered the strike against Soleimani, who had just arrived at the airport in Baghdad, Iraq, on Jan. 3, because he was actively plotting attacks on U.S. service members in the region.

Trump also highlighted his clampdown on illegal immigration, using the December 2018 killing in California of Rocky Jones. The White House blames California's “sanctuary state” policy for allowing the release from jail of a man it said should have been deported instead. The man went on a crime spree and Jones was among the victims, according to local news reports. The victim's brother, Jody Jones, was a State of the Union guest.

California's former governor signed legislation in October 2017 prohibiting state and local agencies from cooperating with federal immigration authorities regarding people illegally in the U.S. who had committed crimes.

Trump also introduced 13-year-old Iain Lanphier, an eighth-grader from Arizona, to promote the launch of Space Force, the first new military service in more than 70 years. Trump said Lanphier “has his eye on the Space Force" and noted that his hero, sitting next to him, was his great-grandfather, Charles McGee, one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen. They both received bipartisan applause.

Other guests' stories helped Trump call attention to his advocacy for school choice and opportunity zones, which he created in a 2017 tax law to give tax breaks to investors in low-income areas.

Also attending the speech was Ivan Simonovis, the former police chief of Venezuela's capital of Caracas. Simonovis was imprisoned in 2004 and held for nearly 15 years on what he considered trumped-up charges of ordering police to fire on pro-government demonstrators during a coup against then-President Hugo Chavez. Simonovis escaped last year and was brought to the United States.

His detention has been a rallying cry for the opposition in Venezuela, currently led by Juan Guaidó, who has the backing from the U.S. and nearly 60 nations that considered President Nicolas Maduro's 2018 election a fraud. These countries also blame Maduro's socialist policies for a political and economic crisis threatening the region's stability.

Guaidó was also a special guest. Trump called Guaidó the “true and legitimate” leader of Venezuela.

___

Associated Press writer Deb Riechmann contributed to this report.

___

Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online President, White House, advisers News, AP Entertainment
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Guests help Trump highlight State of the Union themes
President Donald Trump invited special guests to help him highlight key themes in Tuesday's State of the Union address
10:35PM ( 8 minutes ago )
The Latest: Parkland dad backing gun control shouts at Trump
A protester has interrupted President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech by shouting at him to do something about gun violence
10:26PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Radio host Limbaugh awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor
10:24PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Venezuelan leader Guaidó a guest at Trump speech
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó is attending President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night on Capitol Hill
9:09PM ( 1 hour ago )
On eve of impeachment verdict, Trump tees up State of Union
President Donald Trump will deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday night on the eve of his likely impeachment acquittal and in the aftermath of the chaotic first votes of the race to replace him
8:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
In response to Trump, Democrat focuses on pocket book issues
Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is using her party's response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to say Democrats are focusing on making health care more affordable
8:54PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
White House excludes CNN from Trump session, with no protest
The White House excluded CNN from its annual off-the-record briefing with television news personalities prior to the State of the Union address
5:46PM ( 4 hours ago )
Sans gavel, Roberts, 3 other justices expected at speech
Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to be among four Supreme Court justices in the House of Representatives for the president’s State of the Union speech
4:30PM ( 6 hours ago )
Trump faces accusers: What to watch during his big speech
President Donald Trump will be facing his accusers night during his State of the Union speech
1:48PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online President, White House, advisers News
Rape case to be dropped against doctor who was on reality TV
Prosecutors are dropping a high-profile rape case against a doctor who appeared in a reality TV dating show and his girlfriend
8:45PM ( 1 hour ago )
Back on stand, Weinstein accuser declares: 'He is my rapist'
A woman who says Harvey Weinstein raped her was back on the witness stand Tuesday, a day after she became so upset while being questioned by the movie mogul's lawyers that the judge suspended her cross examination
7:05PM ( 3 hours ago )
Shannen Doherty says she is battling stage 4 breast cancer
Shannen Doherty is battling a recurrence of breast cancer that has progressed to stage four
6:20PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
The Latest: Parkland dad backing gun control shouts at Trump
A protester has interrupted President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech by shouting at him to do something about gun violence
10:26PM ( 18 minutes ago )
China deaths rise to 490, Japan confirms 10 cases on ship
Deaths from a new virus rose to 490 in mainland China while new cases on a Japanese cruise ship, in Hong Kong and elsewhere showed the increasing spread of the outbreak and renewed attention toward containing it
10:25PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Radio host Limbaugh awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor
10:24PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Trump boasts of economic gains on eve of impeachment verdict
Against a sharply partisan backdrop, President Donald Trump on Tuesday declared the nation was “stronger than ever before,
10:24PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Ovechkin near 700 after 27th hat trick; Caps beat Kings 4-2
Alex Ovechkin recorded his 27th career hat trick and raised his career goal total to 698 during a five-minute stretch of the third period, rallying the Washington Capitals to a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings
10:06PM ( 37 minutes ago )