2017 Donald Trump speech to a joint session of Congress

Coordinates: 38°53′19.8″N 77°00′32.8″W / 38.888833°N 77.009111°W / 38.888833; -77.009111
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2017 Donald Trump speech to a joint session of Congress
Full video of the speech as published by the White House[1][2][3][4][5]
DateFebruary 28, 2017 (2017-02-28)
Time9:00 p.m. EST
Duration1 hour
VenueHouse Chamber, United States Capitol
LocationWashington, D.C.
Coordinates38°53′19.8″N 77°00′32.8″W / 38.888833°N 77.009111°W / 38.888833; -77.009111
TypeUnofficial State of the Union Address
Previous2016 State of the Union Address
Next2018 State of the Union Address
President Donald Trump addressing the Congress, with Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
View from the Executive Gallery of the House Chamber

Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, addressed a joint session of the United States Congress on February 28, 2017. It was his first public address before a joint session. Similar to a State of the Union Address, it was delivered before the 115th United States Congress in the Chamber of the House of Representatives in the United States Capitol.[6] Presiding over this joint session was the House speaker, Paul Ryan, accompanied by Mike Pence, the vice president in his capacity as the president of the Senate.


Fact-checkers noted that although Trump's speech to Congress had "fewer untrue statements than many of his remarks",[7] the address nevertheless included numerous false and misleading statements on a variety of issues, including the federal budget, immigration and crime, immigration and the economy, welfare, and the job impact of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines.[7][8][9][10][11][12]

The speech[13] was considered more optimistic, conciliatory[14] and politically conventional[12] and "presidential"[15][16] than Trump's typically populist manner of speaking, at a time in which he was receiving historically low approval ratings.[15][17] President Trump’s approval rating was 53% on February 24, 2017, according to Rasmussen Reports - Presidential Daily Poll.


President Trump announced the creation of the Office of Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) in the United States Department of Homeland Security.[18][19]

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin was the designated survivor and did not attend the address in order to maintain a continuity of government. He was sequestered at a secret secure location for the duration of the event.

Democratic responses[edit]

For the Democratic Party, former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear provided the response; activist Astrid Silva of Nevada offered another response for the party in Spanish.[20] Beshear spoke at a diner in Lexington, Kentucky.[21][22]

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (an independent who caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate) responded to the speech in a 14-minute video posted to Facebook, in which he criticized Trump for failing to make any mention of income inequality, criminal justice reform, or climate change.[23] Sanders also stated: "President Trump once again made it clear he plans on working with Republicans in Congress who want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, throw 20 million Americans off of health insurance, privatize Medicare, make massive cuts in Medicaid, raise the cost of prescription drugs to seniors, eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, while at the same time, he wants to give another massive tax break to the wealthiest Americans."[23]

According to the Democratic think-tank Center for American Progress, Trump made 51 false or manipulative statements during his speech.[24]


Trump's speech was aired live on 11 broadcast and cable news networks, and viewed on TV by an estimated 47.7 million people in the United States.[25][26]

Total cable and network viewers[27]

Network Viewers
FNC 10,765,000
NBC 9,144,000
CBS 7,156,000
ABC 6,065,000
CNN 3,944,000
Fox 3,076,000
MSNBC 2,683,000

  Broadcast networks   Cable news networks

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The New York Times (February 28, 2017). "President Trump's Address to the Joint Congress (Full Speech)". Retrieved May 10, 2017 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ NBC News (February 28, 2017). "President Donald Trump's 2017 Joint Address To Congress: Full Speech". Retrieved May 10, 2017 – via YouTube.
  3. ^ PBS NewsHour (February 28, 2017). "Watch President Trump's full address to a joint session of Congress". Retrieved May 10, 2017 – via YouTube.
  4. ^ "Full speech: Trump delivers first address to Congress". CNN. February 28, 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2017 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ CNBC (March 1, 2017). "President Donald J. Trump's Address To A Joint Session Of Congress (Full Speech)". Retrieved May 10, 2017 – via YouTube.
  6. ^ "Trump to address a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  7. ^ a b True: Trump's speech included several false or misleading statements, Los Angeles Times (March 1, 2017).
  8. ^ Glenn Kessler & Michelle Ye Hee, Fact-checking President Trump's address to Congress, Washington Post (February 28, 2017).
  9. ^ CBS This Morning (March 1, 2017). "How California voters reacted to President Trump's Congress address". Retrieved May 10, 2017 – via YouTube.
  10. ^ USA Today (March 1, 2017). "Fact-checking Trump's first address to Congress". Retrieved May 10, 2017 – via YouTube.
  11. ^ The New York Times (March 1, 2017). "Analysis: President Donald Trump's Address to Congress". Retrieved May 10, 2017 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ a b CBS News (February 28, 2017). "Breaking down President Trump's address to Congress". Retrieved May 10, 2017 – via YouTube.
  13. ^ "Donald Trump's Congress speech (full text)". CNN. March 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  14. ^ Davis, Julie Hirschfeld; Shear, Michael D.; Baker, Peter (February 28, 2017). "Trump, in Optimistic Address, Asks Congress to End 'Trivial Fights'". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  15. ^ a b Thrush, Glenn (March 1, 2017). "5 Key Takeaways From President Trump's Speech". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  16. ^ Smith, Alexander; Hanrahan, Mark (March 1, 2017). "Speech hailed as Trump's most presidential moment was "all him": Pence". NBC News. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  17. ^ Smith, Lizette Alvarez, Jess Bidgood, Mitch; Tavernise, Sabrina (March 1, 2017). "'Today, He Acted Like a Politician': Voters' Reactions to Trump's Speech". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2017.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ Griffin, Andrew (March 1, 2017). "Donald Trump creates Voice agency to publish list of crimes by immigrants". The Independent. Archived from the original on May 1, 2022. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  19. ^ "Presidential address: Trump calms tone in first speech to Congress – as it happened". Guardian. February 28, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  20. ^ "Democrats Pick Ex-Kentucky Governor To Respond To Trump Speech To Congress". NPR. February 24, 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  21. ^ Steve Beshear's full rebuttal to Trump's joint address (video), Washington Post (March 1, 2017).
  22. ^ Cheryl Truman, Eatery gains world attention hosting Beshear's reply to Trump speech, Lexington Herald-Tribune (March 1, 2017).
  23. ^ a b Jaclyn Reiss, Bernie Sanders rails against Trump after speech Archived March 23, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, Boston Globe (March 1, 2017).
  24. ^ "Trump's Speech to Congress Contained Dozens of Lies, Falsehoods, Inaccurate, or Misleading Statements". thenewcivilrightsmovement.com. March 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  25. ^ Ariens, Chris (March 1, 2017). "Pres. Trump's Address to Congress Watched By 47.7 Million on TV". adweek.com.
  26. ^ "Nearly 48 Million Americans Watch Pres. Donald Trump's First Address to Congress". www.nielsen.com. March 1, 2017. Archived from the original on April 26, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  27. ^ Edelman, Adam (March 1, 2018). "Trump's address to joint session of Congress clocks in at 9 million viewers shy of Obama's 2009 speech". NYDailyNews. Retrieved February 3, 2018.

External links[edit]