This is what President Trump didn't say during his address to Congress last night

Trump addresses a joint session of Congress.
(Image credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Trump wowed supporters and skeptics alike on Tuesday night during his address to a joint session of Congress, but what remained unsaid might have as much importance as what was, Politico reports.

Trump shed many of his usual hallmarks, including talk of his Electoral College win or unfair treatment by the press. But there were some strategic omissions as well, Politico notes. Trump, for example, became the first president since George W. Bush in 2001 to not mention either Afghanistan or Iraq. Trump also skipped a mention of Syria, and only briefly mentioned the fight against the Islamic State. While he still referenced "radical Islamic terrorism," Trump elsewhere moderated his message and significantly scaled back his usual combative portrait of the world.

Trump also "seemed to stick to his promise from the opening of the speech, to 'deliver a message of unity,'" Politico writes, by steering clear of topics like abortion, same-sex marriage, or transgender rights. Defunding Planned Parenthood did not get a mention, nor did overturning Roe v. Wade.

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While what Trump didn't say might indicate a long-awaited presidential pivot for some, others criticized the unspoken topics between the lines. "I did not hear President Trump say one word — not one word — about Social Security or Medicare," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said on Facebook. "I urge President Trump, keep your promises. Tell the American people, tweet to the American people, that you will not cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid."

Read more about what Trump didn't say at Politico and an analysis of what he did here at The Week.

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.