Trump delivers State of the Union in the wake of Iowa caucus vote-reporting issues

The president's address comes after a system failure related to a mobile app that left Democratic caucus precinct captains unable to accurately report the results of the caucuses on time.
8:03 | 02/05/20

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Transcript for Trump delivers State of the Union in the wake of Iowa caucus vote-reporting issues
The president of the united States. Reporter: Possession is nine tenths of the law. That maxim on full display tonight at the capitol. What it means is that custody equals ownership. Members of congress, the president of the United States. Reporter: Donald Trump has custody of the presidency. He owns it. The state of our union is stronger than ever before. Reporter: Doesn't matter that just six weeks ago in this very same chamber, president trump was impeached. Article II is adopted. Reporter: That's ancient history. Tonight he stood center stage triumphantly. We did our job. Reporter: Because trump doesn't just own the presidency but the grand old party, too. The Republicans have his back. Tonight the word impeachment was not on the script but it was the elephant in the room. Ignoring the haters, trump spoke for an hour and 18 minutes and sought to fire up his base. He awarded the presidential medal of freedom to rush Limbaugh, gave a scholarship to a schoolgirl and reunited a combat veteran with his family. Such a strange scene. Half the people the president is looking out at and the woman sitting behind him wanted to kick him out of office through the most drastic remedy in the constitution, impeachment. And he's triumphed over them. It is 11:00 out east, and zero precincts reporting. Something is seriously off about this vote count. Reporter: Only now, 24 hours late, have we finally started getting vote results from the Iowa democratic party. Pete buttigieg has a surprisingly strong showing, neck in neck with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren in third with Joe Biden in fourth place. Our campaign is absolutely electrified by this fantastic it is going to help propel us into a great position to compete here in New Hampshire and Reporter: Four years ago, a tie in Iowa gave Bernie Sanders a big bump headed into new Hampshire. It's years ago, Barack Obama surprised victory, and the caucuses set him on a path to beat Hillary Clinton. Tonight the Democrats trying to beat trump trying to move past the caucus catastrophe. Everybody knows who Donald Trump is. We need to show them who we are. I'd say his playbook is really three basic words. Divide and demoralize. And I see this amazing opportunity in 2020. Our chance to turn that around and make this government work for everyone else. This is an unprecedented moment in American history. It is absolutely imperative that trump be defeated. Reporter: The shocking meltdown in Iowa caused by a catastrophic system failure reporting results. Local precinct captains were unable it to get their results in. We've been recommended to call in to the hotline. And the hotline has not been responsive. Reporter: One local election official finally got through to the hotline. Live on CNN. I'm with the democratic party. Can I help you? This is a real coincidence, wolf, I just now got off hold, just now. So I've got to get off the phone to report the results. Hi, hello? They hung up on me. This was a meltdown of epic proportions in Iowa. Almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong. There were problems with understand being the new rules with what happened in a caucus. Problems with reporting the results, starting with the app the party rolled out. Reporter: Iowa supposed to reflect clarity, and give the person momentum. Last night, MSNBC's Chris Matthews started down right dejected. For those of us who love the romance of politics, there's the crackle of election night where the winner is clear and the loser is clear. We've lost that majesty. We've lost it because of a screw up. Reporter: Only at 4:00 P.M. Today in Des Moines did the results finally start to come in. Good afternoon. Reporter: Along with a much-needed apology. The reporting of the results and circumstances surrounding the 2020 Iowa democratic party caucuses were unacceptable. As chair of the party, I apologize deeply. Reporter: It may be too little too late to completely heal the damage done. In a lot of ways, this is the worst way for the country to start off 2020. We started off knowing that the Russians tried to affect the election. This is a bad thing for Democrats. Reporter: Democratic candidates have all moved on to New Hampshire, which holds its first in the nation primary one week from tonight. That contest now has the potential to be more decisive than ever. It feels like a whole new ball game here in New Hampshire. Most of the candidates are already here. New Hampshire is a much more simple and straight forward process with a primary ballot, easy to understand. I put Iowa separate from new Hampshire. I think it was a mess, but it doesn't affect the way I'm going to vote. I don't know what happened in Iowa this morning. Reporter: Joe Biden, the Iowa screwup is good news. He now gets the chance for a do-over. Mike Bloomberg, who didn't spend a penny in Iowa, is also laughing all the way to the bank. I hear something happened in Iowa. Or didn't happen. I don't know which. Still can't figure that out. It was a gift, from the Iowa democratic party to Donald Trump. And this is not a guy who turns down a political opportunity like that. Reporter: President trump called the snafu on the democratic side an unmitigated disaster. Nothing works, just like they ran the country, he tweeted. Like the race to replace trump is in chaos, the effort to remove him through impeachment is pretty much dead in the water. Tomorrow the senate is scheduled to take the final vote on the issue. The only mystery there, will it be along straight party lines or will someone in either party be tempted to break ranks. Four senators are thought to be potential wildcards. On the Republican side, Mitt Romney of Utah remains the only possible vote against the president. On the democratic side, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Doug Jones of Alabama and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, all from red states may be tempted to break with their party and hand the Republicans a bipartisan acquittal. That divide was on full display. From the moment president trump walked in to the house chamber. And straight off the bat, that awkward snub between the president and house speaker. She reached out her hand and he left her hanging. The Republicans started chanting "Four more years." Democrats tonight say it felt more like them that they were at a trump rally, a Maga rally than a traditional state of the union. Reporter: Tonight the state of the union is as divided as it has ever been, and that suits president trump just fine. I'm David Wright for "Nightline" in New York. And this Friday evening, be sure to tune in to the next democratic debate, live at 8:00/7:00 central, 5:00 in the west right here on ABC.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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