US president Donald Trump will postpone his State of the Union address until the partial government shutdown ends.
Following a high-stakes game of dare and double-dare with speaker Nancy Pelosi, Mr Trump conceded “there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber” and that he was not looking for an alternate option.
It came after Ms Pelosi served notice earlier on Wednesday that Mr Trump will not be allowed to deliver the address to a joint session of Congress next week.
She had taken the step after Mr Trump said he planned to show up in spite of Democratic objections to the speech taking place with large swaths of the government shut down.
Denied that grand venue, Mr Trump promised to come up with some sort of alternative event.
The White House scrambled to find a site matching the gravitas of the traditional address from the rostrum of the House to lawmakers from both parties, Supreme Court justices, invited guests and a television audience of millions.
“As the Shutdown was going on, Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address. I agreed,” Mr Trump tweeted.
“She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date. This is her prerogative – I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over.”
It was the latest round of brinkmanship between the president and Ms Pelosi as they remain locked in an increasingly personal standoff over Mr Trump’s demand for border wall money that has forced a partial government shutdown, now in its second month.
Ms Pelosi asked Mr Trump last week to make other plans but stopped short of denying him the chamber for his address.
She issued that denial on Wednesday after Mr Trump told her he wanted to go ahead with it, in essence, calling her bluff.
In a letter to Ms Pelosi earlier on Wednesday, Mr Trump dismissed her previous suggestion that the speech be postponed or delivered in writing due to security issues related to the partial government shutdown.
Declaring there are “no security concerns”, Mr Trump said he planned to fulfil his “Constitutional duty” to report to Congress on the state of the union.
“It would be so very sad for our Country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location,” Mr Trump’s letter said.