Day 1111: An unmitigated disaster.
1/ Trump will deliver his State of the Union address tonight at 9 p.m. ET before a joint session of Congress. Trump is expected to talk about the stock market and the economy. It’s not clear if Trump plans to mention the impeachment trial or the upcoming 2020 election. The theme of Trump’s speech will be “the Great American Comeback.” (New York Times / USA Today / Associated Press / CBS News / Washington Post)
What to expect: New York Times / CNN
CNN anchors were excluded from the annual pre-State of the Union lunch with the president. The White House typically invites anchors from all the major broadcast news networks to a traditional lunch on the day of the SOTU speech, but the Trump administration revoked CNN’s invitations. (CNN)
2/ Results for the Iowa presidential caucuses were delayed after the state Democratic Party said it found “inconsistencies” in the reporting. The Iowa Democratic Party had opted to use an app this year to help calculate and share precinct results, but precinct captains experienced technical difficulties with reporting their results through the app due to a “coding issue in the reporting system.” The Iowa Democratic Party Chair added: “We have every indication that our systems were secure and there was not a cyber security intrusion.” The app was reportedly built in the past two months and not properly tested at a statewide scale. Nevada’s Democratic Party, meanwhile, said it will not use the app for their caucus on Feb. 22. [Editor’s note: Partial results were released as I published this. With 62% of precincts reporting, Buttigieg (26.9%) leads Sanders (25.1%) and Warren (18.3%).] (NBC News / CBS News / CNN / ABC News / NBC News / FiveThirtyEight / New York Times / HuffPost / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / Politico / Bloomberg)
- Trump and his adult sons suggested that the Iowa Democratic caucuses were “rigged,” calling them an “unmitigated disaster.” While there has been no evidence to suggest that the caucuses were in fact “rigged,” the confusion stemming from the delay has produced a steady stream of conspiracy theories and wild speculation. (NBC News / MSN News)
3/ The Senate reconvened for floor speeches by members a day before a final vote in Trump’s impeachment trial. Mitch McConnell urged all senators to vote to acquit Trump, arguing that it was House Democrats who abused their power and not Trump. Republican Senator Susan Collins used her speech to announce that she plans to vote to acquit Trump, saying that although his conduct was “wrong,” House impeachment managers failed to show he committed a high crime or misdemeanor warranting removal from office. (CBS News / NBC News / CNN / Washington Post / New York Times)
4/ A new nuclear warhead requested, designed, and produced by the Trump administration has been deployed aboard a nuclear submarine. The Pentagon confirmed the deployment of the new W76-2 warhead – a low-yield variation of the warhead typically used on the Trident missile – aboard the USS Tennessee. (Defense News / CNN / New York Times)
poll/ 49% of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing as president – his highest job approval rating since taking office. 50% of Americans disapprove. (Gallup)
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