STATE OF UNION | Dems tap Kennedy to give post-speech rebuttal


WASHINGTON (AP)

Seeking to set the tone for their election-year strategy, party leaders have tapped Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy, the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, to deliver a post-speech rebuttal aimed at casting Democrats, not President Donald Trump, as champions of the middle class.

Democrats are also looking to make their mark in other ways. A handful of lawmakers are planning to boycott the president’s remarks. And several Democratic women plan to wear black to protest sexual harassment, an issue that has tarnished several lawmakers in both parties. Trump himself has been accused of assault or harassment by more than a dozen women, accusations he has denied. The Wall Street Journal reported this month that the president’s lawyer arranged a payment to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, to prevent her from talking about her alleged encounter with the future president.

First lady Melania Trump, who has largely stayed out of the spotlight following those allegations, will attend Tuesday’s address, according to the White House. She’ll be joined in the audience by several guests whose stories amplify the president’s agenda, including an Ohio welder who the White House says will benefit from the new tax law and the parents of two Long Island teenagers who were believed to have been killed by MS-13 gang members.

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