Trump thanks NC Speaker for State of the Union invite, Raleigh address still a possibility

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Sources are telling ABC News that President Donald Trump is preparing two different State of the Union speeches -- one he could deliver on Capitol Hill and another that he could take on the road.

But the question remains about where he would give that Plan B speech. The president is not ruling out the possibility of delivering the address right here in Raleigh.

With the government shutdown talks still in a stalemate, Trump called North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore on Monday night about Moore's invitation to give the address at the General Assembly.

Moore said the president didn't say yes. But he didn't say no either.

"President Trump said he was appreciative of the invitation and supported what we are doing here in North Carolina for our economy," Moore wrote in a statement.



Meredith College political professor David McLennan told ABC11 on Tuesday that he was surprised by Moore's invitation.

"But then I thought well, it's unconventional but we have an unconventional president. So it could happen," McLennan said.

This uncertainty from here to Washington about the big speech comes after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked President Trump to postpone the address. But Tuesday, the White House sent strong signals that Trump plans to deliver it anyway -- requesting a walk-through of the House chamber.

Still, Pelosi has the power to dis-invite the president. She wants the speech delayed until the shutdown ends.

"Let me be very clear: open up government. Open the government. Let's talk," Pelosi said Tuesday to reporters.

McLennan added, "If the president doesn't see (an invitation from Pelosi) coming even though he's talking about doing a walk-through in the House chamber, it could keep North Carolina in play."

But could a State of the Union address, with all the pomp and circumstance of the presidency play well in Raleigh?

McLennan has doubts.

"This would be a move filled with risk, I think," he said. "The risk is people don't take it seriously."

The North Carolina Democratic Party issued a statement deriding any possibility of a North Carolina address -- calling Speaker Moore's invitation a "political stunt."
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