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2309d ago / 12:12 AM UTC

Trump to declare 'New American Moment' — but Hillary Clinton declared one first

President Donald Trump seems to have borrowed the catchphrase for his first State of the Union — a “New American Moment” — from an unlikely source: Hillary Clinton.

Clinton, whom Trump defeated in the 2016 presidential election, used the phrase in a 2010 speech to herald the foreign policy she was pursuing on behalf of President Barack Obama as secretary of state.

That “new American moment” was “a moment when our global leadership is essential, even if we must often lead in new ways,” she said.

By contrast, Trump’s “new American moment” is a distillation of the success he believes he’s had on the domestic front.

“This is our New American Moment,” Trump will say after lauding his signature tax cut law, according to advance excerpts of his speech released by the White House. “There has never been a better time to start living the American dream.”

2309d ago / 6:13 AM UTC

That's a wrap. ICYMI, here are the highlights from Tuesday's State of the Union

Thanks so much for joining us tonight for our coverage of President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address.

If you’re just catching up to it this morning, here's what you missed…


2309d ago / 6:05 AM UTC

News analysis: Trump talks unity, sows division in address

President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address was billed by the White House beforehand as a speech that would be "unifying" and "bipartisan."

It was neither.

A relatively sedate Trump poked seated and silent Democrats in the House chamber — and their constituents — with partisan jabs on Obamacare, immigration, gun rights, respect for the American flag and other issues that have generated fierce friction since he took office.


2309d ago / 5:16 AM UTC

Most used words in State of the Union? Immigration, terror, North Korea


While Trump's speech was the third-longest in modern history, he returned to specific words and themes repeatedly. Here are some of his most frequently mentioned words:

Build/building: 14

Immigration/immigrant/s: 11

Terror/terrorism/terrorist: 9

Free/freedom: 9 

Tax cut/reform: 7

North Korea: 7

Jobs: 6


Gang/s: 5

Criminals: 4

MS-13: 4

Trade: 4

Similarly, there were some words and themes that Trump's mentioned only sparingly, despite their having made headlines throughout his first year in office...

Obamacare: 1

Russia: 1 (but only in the context of “rivals” like China)

Syria: 1

Iraq: 1


Debt: 0

Deficit: 1 (but only in the context of what he called the “infrastructure deficit”)

Spending: 0 (in the context of government spending) 

2309d ago / 4:36 AM UTC

Fact check: Has the U.S. released terrorists only to meet them later on the battlefield?

"In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield — including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi," Trump said, before announcing an order directing that the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay be kept open.

Trump is correct, though the trend fell dramatically under former President Barack Obama. However, his claim that the U.S. released the man who would become the leader of ISIS is somewhat misleading. The man known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was released into Iraqi custody in 2004 — not set free by the U.S.

According to a March 2017 report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, 121 former detainees of the U.S. detention facility in Cuba were confirmed to have returned to terrorist activities. Another 87 were suspected of reengaging with terrorist activities, the report showed.

Of the 121 who were confirmed to have returned to terrorism, 113 would have been released during the George W. Bush presidency. Of the 87 suspected of reengaging with terrorism, 74 would have been released during the George W. Bush presidency.

2309d ago / 4:09 AM UTC

Fact check: Trump's right, ISIS did lose almost all its territory in Iraq and Syria

“One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria. But there is much more work to be done,” Trump said. 

This is true. By early December, the Pentagon said 97 percent of ISIS-held territory in Iraq and Syria had been liberated. Now, analysts tell NBC News, the threat the U.S. must fight is dangerous lone wolf attacks and resurgences of the extremist group if forces do not continue to stamp it out. 

2309d ago / 4:09 AM UTC

Trump's State of the Union clocked in as third-longest in modern history

Trump’s first State of the Union address clocked in at 80 minutes, making it the third-longest in modern American history, according to the American Presidency Project.  

So who has him beat? Bill Clinton. Twice. His 1995 address was almost 85 minutes long, and his final address in 2000 lasted nearly 89 minutes.

2309d ago / 3:57 AM UTC

Fact check: Trump claims green cards are given 'randomly' without regard for skill, safety

"The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people," Trump said. 

Trump's description of the visa lottery program, which came as the president was describing his framework for immigration reform, is false. The diversity visa program grants 50,000 visas a year to individuals who have graduated high school or have "two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform," according to the State Department.

Visa applicants are selected through a random, computer-generated lottery. If an applicant is selected, they face all of the same background checks and screening processes as any other immigrant visa applicant to be granted admission, including document presentation, background checks, in person interviews and medical exams.

2309d ago / 3:49 AM UTC

Fact check: Did a terrorist enter on the diversity visa?

“In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration. In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can no longer afford," Trump said.

This is half true. Trump is correct that suspects in two recent terror attacks entered thanks to a family connection and the diversity visa lottery program, but both appear to have been radicalized well after they entered the United States, making them homegrown threats. 

2309d ago / 3:42 AM UTC

Read the full text of Trump’s State of the Union address

2309d ago / 3:26 AM UTC

Fact check: Can immigrants bring in 'unlimited' and 'distant' relatives?

“Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children. This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future,” Trump said.

This is false. Legal immigrants can sponsor their spouses, children, parents, and siblings — but distant relatives, like cousins, cannot be sponsored for residency. The family reunification visa process takes years or even more than a decade, preventing "chains" from forming the way Trump suggests, as Politico reported in detail.

What's more, there are only so many family visas that can be granted. The numbers are capped by the U.S. government.

2309d ago / 3:01 AM UTC

Democrats react to Trump talking immigration

Trump opened the immigration component of his address — in which he would go on to tout his framework for reform — by noting that "open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities." Democrats did not react well.

Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., was audible heard saying, "Oh, come on...," while Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., was seen waving his hand in disgust. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., was seen shaking his head.