Trump's State of the Union address

By Sophie Tatum, Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha, Brian Ries and Amanda Wills, CNN

Updated 2:13 p.m. ET, March 5, 2019
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5:23 p.m. ET, February 5, 2019

Trump talked about painting San Diego's portion of the border wall

From CNN's Jim Acosta

President Trump attended a meeting with surrogates ahead of tonight's State of the Union address.

One of Trump's advisers, who also attended the meeting, said the President was so passionate about his desire for a barrier at the southern border, he even discussed the idea of painting the stretch of fencing where it meets the Pacific Ocean in San Diego. 

Trump, according to the adviser, said he doesn't like the way it looks, noting there is some graffiti on that section of the border fencing. Trump complained that a general informed him that painting that portion of the wall may not be possible as it could cause environmental harm. 

The source had said Trump didn't like the graffiti that was showing up on that section of the wall. 

"This is government run amok," Trump said of the bureaucratic complaints that the paint would cause environmental damage.

Trump and his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, met with contractors at the White House to discuss building the border wall late last week, two sources with knowledge of the meeting told CNN. He also met with contractors on Monday, a day ahead of his State of the Union address, according to two people familiar with the meetings.

Some context: We're not sure if Trump's proposed border wall will come up during his speech tonight, but it was the key sticking point in the government shutdown that ultimately postponed this address.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disinvited Trump from giving his speech on Jan. 29 because of the partial government shutdown, which went into effect when Trump and Democrats couldn't agree on funding for a barrier on the border. While the shutdown ended on Jan. 25, the State of the Union was rescheduled for today.

4:59 p.m. ET, February 5, 2019

A play-by-play of how the State of the Union drama unfolded

The State of the Union address was postponed after President Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi spent a week writing letters back and forth. Pelosi's request to postpone the speech — and her eventual decision to disinvite Trump — came during the longest government shutdown in US history.

Here's a brief recap of how it all went down:

  • Dec. 21: Funding for parts of the government runs out, and those departments shut down at midnight.
  • Jan. 3: Pelosi invites Trump to give his second State of the Union address at the US Capitol on Jan. 29.
  • Jan. 12: The government shutdown enters its 22nd day, officially becoming the longest in US history.
  • Jan. 26: Pelosi sends Trump a letter asking him to move the date of his State of the Union address until after the government shutdown is over.
  • Jan 17: In an apparent response to Pelosi's letter, Trump denies the speaker use of a military aircraft for a trip to Afghanistan.
  • Jan. 22: A White House official said the administration is "moving forward" with plans for the speech at the Capitol on Jan. 29.
  • Jan. 23: Trump writes a letter to Pelosi saying he will be "honoring (her) invitation" to give the State of the Union on Jan. 29. Pelosi writes a letter back barring Trump from delivering the speech in the House chamber.
  • Later on Jan. 23: Trump agrees not to give his State of the Union address until after the shutdown is over.
  • Jan. 25: Trump announces a plan to temporarily reopen the government for three weeks. It's quickly passed by both the House and Senate. Pelosi does not say if the State of the Union is back on.
  • Jan. 28: On the day before the State of the Union is supposed to happen, an aide for Pelosi says it will not take place as scheduled.
  • Later on Jan. 28: Pelosi speaks to Trump, and they agree to told the State of the Union on Feb. 5.