Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Trump Hits Reset Button with Call for 'A Renewal of American Spirit'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Trump Hits Reset Button with Call for 'A Renewal of American Spirit'

Article excerpt

Byline: Daniel Bates in New York

DONALD TRUMP today called for unity and a "new chapter of American greatness" in his first address to Congress. He also condemned a recent wave of hate crimes as he adopted a softer tone and tried to reset his presidency after a chaotic first month in office.

The Republican laid out an agenda including a "big, big" cut in taxes, a $1 trillion "new programme of national rebuilding" and -- for the first time -- a merit-based immigration system.

During his 60-minute speech, Mr Trump said America should "think of the marvels we can achieve if we simply set free the dreams of our people".

He said he hoped that on the nation's 250th anniversary in 2026 it will "look back on tonight as when this new chapter of American greatness began". He said: "The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us. We just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts."

In a moment of theatre, Mr Trump paid tribute to Navy Seal Ryan Owens, who died during an operation in Yemen in January, and his widow Carryn. To thunderous applause, the president, 70, said Mr Owens's "legacy is etched into eternity". Mrs Owens, in the public gallery beside Mr Trump's daughter Ivanka, wept and mouthed words as if in prayer. After three minutes of clapping, Mr Trump said: "Ryan is looking down and he's very happy because I think he just broke a record."

CNN pundit Van Jones, a critic of Mr Trump, said he "became president of the United States in that moment".

Mr Trump had spent his first 40 days in office in near constant turmoil with a chaotic rollout of a travel ban on Muslim-majority nations and the scandal over his team's dealings with Russia.

In his inauguration speech he said the US was a place of "carnage". This time, he called on "all citizens to embrace this renewal of the American spirit".

Afterwards, a CNN poll found 57 per cent of people approved of his message and 69 per cent said his policies would move America in the right direction.

About 20 Congresswomen wore white, the colour of the Suffragettes, in a protest about his comments about women. …

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