Mon | Feb 19, 2018

Trump calls for unity; warns about gangs, drugs, North Korea

Published:Thursday | February 1, 2018 | 12:00 AM
President Donald Trump at the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (AP):

Addressing a deeply divided nation, President Donald Trump summoned the country to a "new American moment" of unity in his first State of the Union, challenging Congress to make good on long-standing promises to fix a fractured immigration system and warning darkly of evil forces seeking to undermine America's way of life.

Trump's address Tuesday night blended self-congratulation and calls for optimism amid a growing economy with ominous warnings about deadly gangs, the scourge of drugs and violent immigrants living in the United States illegally. He cast the debate over immigration an issue that has long animated his most ardent supporters as a battle between heroes and villains, leaning heavily on the personal stories of White House guests in the crowd. He praised a law enforcement agent who arrested more than 100 gang members, and he recognised the families of two alleged gang victims.

He also spoke forebodingly of catastrophic dangers from abroad, warning that North Korea would "very soon" threaten the United States with nuclear-tipped missiles.

"The United States is a compassionate nation. We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world," Trump said. "But as president of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern are for America's children, America's struggling workers, and America's forgotten communities."