State of the Union 2018 Time: When Does Trump’s Address Begin Tonight?

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U.S. President Donald Trump reacts after delivering his first address in 2017.

Tonight is President Donald Trump’s first official State of the Union. Yes, he addressed a joint session of Congress in February 2017, but that was not officially called “the State of the Union” since he had only been in office for about five weeks. Tonight marks his very first State of the Union, and everyone is wondering exactly what he is going to say. Will he be addressing Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian interference in the election? Or will he be talking about the economy and how unemployment is down and the Dow is up? It’s likely that the term “fake news” will come up at some point during his speech. It’s even more likely that his speech will include a call for bipartisan support for some of his national security and infrastructure plans for the coming year. Whatever he says, you’ll want to see it live, so you’ll want to know exactly what time the speech is beginning.

President Trump’s State of the Union will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern (8 p.m. Central) tonight, January 30, 2018. The speech is expected to be about an hour long, but coverage on most TV stations and online will last for two hours so it can include the Democrats’ response to the speech, too. Some TV stations and livestreams will even start their coverage 30 minutes to an hour early, so you can see the guests and government officials arriving. Most news coverage will end at 11 p.m. Eastern.

Both the Republicans and Democrats are bringing guests to tonight’s State of the Union. President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have announced that the following guests will be seated with the First Lady during the speech: Corey Adams (a welder); Elizabeth Alvarado, Robert Mickens, Evelyn Rodriguez, and Freddy Cuevas (parents of girls murdered by MS-13); Corporal (Ret.) Matthew Bradford (blinded by shrapnel and lost both his legs in Iraq, then reenlisted); Jon Bridgers (founded the Cajun Navy); David Dahlberg (a fire prevention technician); Officer Ryan Holets (police officer who’s been shot twice); Ashlee Leppert (aviation electronics technician who rescued Americans during hurricanes); Agent Celestino “CJ” Martinez (supervisory special agent for Homeland Security); Staff Sergeant Justin Peck (U.S. Army, saved an officer struck by an IED); Preston Sharp (organized flags at veterans’ graves); and Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger (started Staub Manufacturing Solutions).

The Democrats’ guests during the SOTU include: Chessy Prout (victim of sexual assault and guest of Rep. Annie Kuster); dozens of young immigrants who are part of the DACA program, including Karen Bahena, Melody Klingenfuss, and Nicolle Uria; and Cindy Garcia (her husband was deported after 30 years in the U.S., guest of Rep. Debbie Dingell).