President Trump will still give some sort of address on Tuesday — whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi permits him to give it from the House chamber or not, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says.
The top White House spokesperson said the president will speak to the American people on Jan. 29 "as he does nearly every single day." And the White House is "moving forward" with the State of the Union address.
While Pelosi hasn't officially rescinded her invitation to Mr. Trump to give the State of the Union address, she has the power to keep a resolution making that invitation official from making it to the House floor. In short, Mr. Trump cannot use the House chamber without her approval.
"We always like to have a Plan B but the president should be able to address the American people, whether he does that from the halls of Congress or whether he does that in another location," Sanders told Fox News. "The president will talk to the American people on January 29th as he does nearly every single day. And we're going to continue moving forward with the State of the Union and we'll see what happens."
Pelosi cited the ongoing government shutdown in her letter asking Mr. Trump to delay the State of the Union or give it in writing, noting the Secret Service and other Homeland Security employees who would be working the event without pay. DHS told CBS News it is still prepared to provide protection for the major address.
"She cited security concerns as a potential reason to delay it," Sanders told reporters outside the White House Tuesday night. "Those concerns were addressed by the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Secret Service. At this point, we're moving forward."
The White House has asked the House sergeant-at-arms for a State-of-the-Union walk-through, a senior administration official told CBS News' Fin Gomez, an indication that the White House is still interested in going ahead with the annual address. A source familiar with the planning for any such address told CBS News the White House is also considering holding a political rally outside of Washington.
But no plans are finalized, with Jan. 29 less than a week away.