Tuesday night’s State of the Union turned into an emotional reunion for one military family.
At one point during his remarks, Trump, 73, welcomed Amy Williams, a military spouse who lives at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where her family is stationed.
The White House said Williams works full-time and raises her two children — a daughter, 6, and a 3-year-old son — while her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Townsend Williams, has been serving his fourth Army deployment, away for the past seven months in Afghanistan.
“Amy, your family’s sacrifice makes it possible for all our families to live in safety and in peace, and we want to thank you,” Trump said during his speech while introducing his guests, as is standard.
Trump then announced that there was “one more thing” — surprising Amy by revealing that her husband was back from deployment and in the room.
“We couldn’t keep him waiting any longer,” said the president as Sgt. Williams made his way to his family, embracing his children as they received a standing ovation.
Some of the night’s other guests included Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee (who appeared at the Super Bowl coin toss on Sunday) and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom one day after announcing he had advanced lung cancer.
“From brave military families to hardworking local leaders, this year’s guests come from many walks of life,” said the White House in a statement. “Each one represents the very best of America and people the world over.”
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Other parts of the evening weren’t as heartwarming.
As the night began, Trump conspicuously ignored a handshake offered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after he gave her a copy of his State of the Union — which Pelosi, 79, later tore up on-camera right after he was done speaking.
That highly unusual moment was a reflection of the tension between House Democrats and the president, whom they impeached over his Ukraine scandal, saying he had betrayed the Constitution and abused his power. He is on trial in the Senate.
Trump supporters and the White House soon slammed Pelosi’s gesture as disrespectful.
Afterward, she told reporters, “It was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative,” adding, “It was such a dirty speech.”