President Donald Trump began his third State of the Union touting U.S. economic gains since he took office.
As chants of "Four more years!" rang through the Senate chamber, Trump spoke of record low unemployment, especially among African-Americans, women, and veterans.
"I keep my promises,” Trump pronounced. "In just three short years, we have shattered the mentality of American decline and we have rejected the downsizing of America's destiny. We are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago and we are never going back."
He described the surge in jobs as a "blue collar boom," and boasted that his administration's cut in regulations has led to the U.S. becoming the world's top producer of oil and natural gas. He said the United States is “where the action is.”
Trump also said crime is falling, U.S. enemies are "on the run," the military is completely rebuilt, U.S. values are renewed, and that the country is "highly respected again."
A few of the president's words drew audible groans while the president’s Republican supporters jumped to their feet at nearly every one of the president’s pronouncements of economic success.
One of Trump's surprise guests at the event was Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó. The president gave as an example of American leadership throughout the world his administration's support of Guaidó, who declared himself Venezuela's interim president and called the 2018 re-election of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro illegitimate.
"Mr. President, please take this message back to your homeland," Trump said to Guaidó. "All Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom! Socialism destroys nations. But always remember, freedom unifies the soul."
The White House announced that the "designated survivor" – the member of Trump's cabinet who would not attend the State of the Union in case something happened to the president, vice president and other cabinet members during the event – was David Bernhardt, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior.