Marriott Marquis Washington
11:34 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you.
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
THE PRESIDENT: So, let’s have a good time, right? (Applause.) Let’s have a good time.
I’m excited to be here today with thousands of proud, young American patriots. You’re great people. You’re great people. (Applause.) You’re the future. You’re the future.
On behalf of my entire administration, thank you to everyone at Turning Point USA’s Teen Student Action Summit. What a group. (Applause.) What a group. They don’t realize there’s more of you than there is of them. They just haven’t figured that out yet. (Applause.) They’ll understand. They’ll figure it out someday. They’re still trying to figure out what the hell happened. What happened? (Applause.) How did this happen?
You’ve come to our nation’s capital from cities and towns across America. You’ve given up a big part of your summer, which many young people are not willing to do, and we understand that too. But what you’re doing is fun and it’s important. So important.
You’ve paid and paved your own way to get here. And, in some cases, it wasn’t easy. And you’ve done it for all of us. You’ve done it for one simple reason: You are loyal to our nation, you are devoted to your fellow citizens, and you will always put America first. (Applause.)
I want to thank my great friend — and he’s a young friend; he’s a pretty young guy — Charlie Kirk. (Applause.) I said, “How old are you, Charlie?” He’s a young one. He gave me a number; I won’t say. But he’s younger than he even looks. But I want to thank Charlie. He’s an incredible guy. His spirit, his love of this country. He’s done an amazing job. He’s done something that is just incredible for somebody, really, of his age. You need tremendous talent to do what he’s done, building one of the most powerful youth organizations ever created, Turning Point USA. And I want to thank you, really, Charlie. Incredible job. (Applause.)
The young leaders here today are part of a movement unlike anything in the history of our nation. There’s never been anything like this. And the fake news doesn’t even talk about it because —
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: No, but when I say it, they don’t correct me. They don’t say, “Oh, he gets a Pinocchio.” They can’t because it’s true. It’s true. You know, they can find fault with anything, but they never — they never talk about that because we won. You know, there have been some pretty good movements. And they won New Hampshire, or they won a state someplace. (Laughter.) But they didn’t win the whole ballgame.
And you saw what we won, and you could see it; we could feel it. We knew it was going to happen because it’s a movement about reclaiming your future, rebuilding your country, and restoring your destiny, and renewing the values that are the true source of American greatness. We lost those values, and we’re getting them back rapidly. We’re getting them back rapidly.
Just backstage, a gentleman — very rich gentleman, in this case — came up, sitting in one these rows, I assume. Yeah. There he is. He said, “Sir, thank you for saving our country.” (Applause.) I said, “Thank you very much.” And, you know, I said, “Thank you very much.” And I looked at Charlie and I said, “Charlie do you have any idea how many people say that?”
I gave the commencement address at the Air Force Academy recently, and at Annapolis the year before. (Applause.) And they said, “Sir, would you like to shake the hands of all the cadets?” I said, “How many are there?” “One thousand one hundred.” I said, “Yeah, that sounds okay.” (Applause.) I say, “Do other Presidents do it?” “Yes, they do.” “Do all of them?” “Yeah, they do.”
What they didn’t say is they start and then they peter out and they go back. Because it’s — it’s tough. It was really hot. That sun was beaming down. And I’m just one hand. And some of these guys are great athletes. And some of the women — they had some women in the class that were — their hands were very strong, okay? (Laughter.) And they’re all shaking. And, you know, they’re a little nervous, maybe; they’re meeting the President. They’re shaking strongly and — “Sir.” But, you know, with shaking 1,100 hands and saluting. We’re saluting, shaking, turning, spinning. They’re coming at all different directions. (Laughter.) I felt like a great fighter pilot. (Laughter.)
But I stood up there for the whole thing. I said, “There’s no way that other Presidents have done that.” He said, “No, no, they do it but they leave after about 50 or 60 people.” I said, “Why didn’t you tell me that?” But I’m glad I did it. (Laughter.) But I did the same thing — I did the same thing at Annapolis the year before. Great place. Just great. (Applause.) And I shook the hands of, I think, 1,011 at Annapolis. And it’s really something great.
But so many of these young, incredible people — they’re like you — so many of these young, incredible people, they come, “Sir, thank you for saving America.” “Sir, thank you for saving America.” “Sir, thank you for saving our country.” So many of them — it’s not rehearsed; it’s just — that’s what they feel.
And you know what? Somebody had to do what I did. It’s not pleasant. We have a deep state. We have bad people. We have sick people.
I watched, just this morning, this Tlaib — Tlaib.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: From Michigan, right? It’s a great state. We won Michigan. There is no way she stands for the values of the people of Michigan.
But I watched her this morning; she vicious. She’s like a crazed lunatic. She’s screaming. This is before she got into Congress. Who elected her? She’s screaming like a total lunatic at one of our rallies. It’s like I’m giving a little rally, and she starts screaming. And this was — this is not a sane person, folks, when you look at that. (Laughter.) And this is what we’re up against. You have some of that.
Now, the Democrats, I guess, are forced to embrace her. And I called it “AOC Plus 3.” Okay? AOC — “AOC Plus 3.” (Applause.) Not that AOC is a bargain, because she’s not. I mean, she’s no bargain. Look, I mean, I — we’ll go into it at some point. I’ll tell you all about AOC. I got more on AOC. (Applause.) AOC. AOC.
But it’s — you know, what’s going on with that Party having to embrace them. And your other friend from an incredible state, right? A state that I’m going to win: Minnesota. You know that one, right? (Applause.) And you know why I’m going to win the state? Because of her. I almost won it last time. We came within just about a point. That’s a very — because Minnesota is a very hard one for a Republican to win. And when we almost won it — one more night — I wanted to go there one more time. I said, “I’m telling you, “We’re going to win Minnesota.”
You know who thought I was going to win Minnesota? You know who thought I was going to win Michigan and Wisconsin and North Carolina? Bill Clinton. He was telling everybody, “You better be careful.” He told people — from what I hear, he said, “The one you don’t want to run against is Trump.” And they would say, “Why? Oh, no, that’s good. We want to run against…” “No, no, you don’t.” You know, I actually knew him pretty well. We got along very well until I decided to run for office. (Laughter.) We actually got along.
But they didn’t want to listen to him. But he was the only one with the instinct the rest didn’t have. So he came back and he said, “You know he’s doing very well in Michigan. You could have a problem.” They said, “No, don’t worry about Michigan. We haven’t lost Michigan in decades.” And he came back, he said, “You know…” — he was in Wisconsin or something — but he said he hears that I’m doing well in Wisconsin. They say, “Forget it. A Republican can’t win Wisconsin.” And then we won Wisconsin. Then he came back — (applause) — he came back.
And I say this with a certain old-time affection because I had a very good relationship with him before doing this. You know, now it’s a little harder for him to have a good relationship. But he said, “You don’t want to run against Trump. Don’t run against Trump.” And they were saying, “No, no, that’s okay. We like that.”
Remember, President Obama, “He will not win. He will not win.”
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Liar!
THE PRESIDENT: Okay, this is — he goes, “Liar.” (Laughter.) That’s — yeah. (Applause.) Hey, did Obama get a Pinocchio? That’s right, Obama said, “He will not win. He will not be your President.” The anger was unbelievable. You know, what? He’s right. He was a liar. Did you give Obama a Pinocchio, Washington Post? He said, “He will not win.” (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: These papers — these papers are so bad.
So yesterday we had a story in one of the papers that I thought was good but they’re really not, you know, when you analyze it. There’s almost not too many of them that are. The wall. We’re building a lot of wall. But we — (applause) — well, let me just finish. But there are areas where they have walls that are falling down, walls that are in such bad shape. We’re trying to renovate as much as we can.
And we have a provision: We can renovate but we can’t build new. So we’re taking all these areas. And generally speaking, when you have an old wall that’s falling down, it’s in a better location for a wall. That’s why they had it there in the first place as opposed to an area that’s empty. You know, typically that will be true.
So these walls are old, they’re crumbling, they’re of no use. They’re falling down. So we rip it up, build brand new foundations, pour brand new, beautiful footings, and take a wall that’s two or three feet high, mostly laying on the ground, some of it only for cars – you know, to stop cars from cars from coming across. Just a metal spike.
So we’d rip it out; it would take about a minute. And we’d put in deep foundations seven feet deep, and we put in 30-foot bollards, and they’re loaded up with concrete. Because inside, you know, I like doing — one of the reasons they said, “But you said you’re going to build a concrete wall.” So actually, inside the steel we have — so we have both. We have steel and we have concrete. (Applause.)
And I was saving that for later because the only thing they could do is, “He’s building a steel wall. It’s not concrete.” “Oh, sorry about that, folks.” (Laughter.) You know. And you do have to have vision. It’s very important. You know, it’s — you can’t just have a blank wall. You have to have vision. It’s much better for the security to have the vision.
Anyway, so we’re building the wall. So they come out with saying, “Donald Trump has built almost no wall.” What a lie that is. And we’re building — (applause) — we’re building 50 miles here, 50 miles there. Fifty — all in the right locations, because there used to be walls but then we had to take them down.
In some cases, if they’re good enough, we’ll renovate it because we can do it for a lot less money. But generally, some of these walls are worthless. I mean, literally, you just drive right over them. They’re laying down on their side.
They gave me no credit. But if you read the story, they’ll say, “While he has renovated a lot of wall…” Well, that’s not even a renovation, let’s face it. That’s a brand new wall. It’s all brand new wall. It just shows you how dishonest this fake news is. And this is what we have to deal with. This is really what we have to deal with. But get used to it. Many of you are going to be in politics. Just get used to it, okay? Get used to it.
Together — is this true? — we believe in the American Constitution and we believe judges should interpret our Constitution as written. You’ll be seeing this. (Applause.) We believe in religious liberty, the right to free speech, and the right to keep and bear arms. (Applause.) Second Amendment. What a group.
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
THE PRESIDENT: Look, look. Look, they are in the process of trying to take your arms away. You have the Second Amendment. They will —
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: They will do damage to the Second Amendment the likes of which nobody even thought of. That’s where they’re coming from. Just remember I said it. Hopefully they never get the chance. And that’s why the election coming up — I always said this is the most important election — 2016 — most important election that we’ve ever had. And it was certainly the coolest. That’s for sure. (Applause.) But it was, I believe, the most important election because our country was going wrong. It was going wrong.
And when you see all the incredible numbers coming up and all the success that we’re having, and all the fact that we’re respected all over the world. We have a really good man who’s going to be the Prime Minister of the UK now, Boris Johnson. (Applause.) Good man. He’s tough and he’s smart. They’re saying “Britain Trump.” They call him “Britain Trump.” And people are saying, “That’s a good thing.” They like me over there. That’s what they wanted. That’s what they need. (Applause.) That’s what they need. He’ll get it done. Boris is good. He’s going to do a good job.
I think Nigel is someplace in this audience. Where is Nigel? Where is he? Nigel Farage. He’s here someplace. I saw him. I said, “What is he doing here? He’s a little older than most of you.” Where is he? Nigel. Nigel. I’ll tell you what: He got 32 percent of the vote from nowhere, over in UK. Nigel — thank you, Nigel. (Applause.)
I said, “What’s Nigel doing here?” He’s a little older than you folks, but he did a great job. And I know he’s going to work well with Boris. They’re going to do some tremendous things.
But we believe in the American Dream and not a socialist nightmare that these people are trying to put on our shoulders. (Applause.)
And we know that strong nations must have strong borders. And we’re building a strong border against so much. You have no idea. Every time I announce, as an example, a section of wall, I get lawsuits. They sue me. You know who sues me? Congressmen. Congressmen. I get sued by Nancy Pelosi. We won that suit. Can you believe it? I won that. I won that. (Applause.)
We won a couple of them. But we have suits on the border. We had one judge — they always sue in the Ninth Circuit. You know what that means, right? They sue in the Ninth Circuit, which is sort of like an automatic victory. Although we did win one last week in the Ninth Circuit. Nobody can even believe it. Can you — you know what’s happening, right? Do you know what’s happening?
So, as of today — this is so important. There are those that say it’s the most important. I would say war and peace and security — that’s the most important. But they say the most important thing a President can do is the selection of Supreme Court justices, right? (Applause.) Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. We have two. Already, we have two. Some have gone a long time, and they haven’t had many. And they haven’t had any, in some cases. So we have two already. And they’re great, and they’re good.
But, you know, what people don’t talk about: I’ve just signed the 124th federal district judge — federal judges — under me. (Applause.) And within a couple of months, I’ll be up to 147. Think of that: 147. Because, normally, when you become President, you go in and you say, “Do I have any judges to appoint?” “No.” You know, they’re all — because it’s such an important thing.
Because these district judges — they’re the ones who do the trials. I mean, this is big stuff. And then you have Court of Appeals judges. Then you have the Supreme Court judges.
So we have two in the Supreme Court. We have many appeals court judges — many — that we’ll have appointed. The courts are a whole different thing.
But I was up to — I will be up to 147, not including the 2 Supreme Court justices. Now, percentage-wise, I blow everybody away except one person. One person I’ll never beat. You know who the one person is?
AUDIENCE: George Washington!
THE PRESIDENT: Who?
AUDIENCE: George Washington!
THE PRESIDENT: George Washington. He’s got 100 percent. George Washington. (Applause.)
But we’re going to have a tremendous percentage. And after six more years, it’ll go to a level that nobody will even be close. (Applause.)
But George Washington is hard to beat because he put in 100 percent. He was there first, so he had (inaudible). (Laughter.) But I have many more than George Washington. Remember that. George Washington didn’t put in too many, but he had certainly the highest percentage. He’ll never — that will be a record that will never be broken.
We believe that every young American should love our country, honor our history, and always respect what? Our great American flag. (Applause.)
How about the Betsy Ross? You know, isn’t that terrible, where they’re trying to take your heritage away from you like that? Isn’t that terrible?
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: Isn’t that terrible? And then you see the picture of President Obama with the same exact flag up. He should have taken it down. Why didn’t he take it down? It’s, really, very unfair what they do. They try and demean and belittle, and they’re very good at it. They’re better at that than they are at politics. They’re better than that than they are at policy.
Look at their policy. They want open borders, which means crime, which means drug —
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: — drugs and human trafficking, which is a phenomena that you would think is thousands of years old, and that would have been their prime. No, their prime is now because of the Internet. Women — mostly women — are being trafficked. And they go not only in this country, all over the world. It’s never been like this before. Human trafficking — they snatch women and they traffic women and they sell women.
And we can’t get the Democrats to even give us a modicum of the money we need at the border, especially for the wall. I’m taking money from here and there and there and there. Let’s take it from here. We have all these different sources coming from all over the place because they won’t approve it.
And five years ago, they all wanted it. Six years ago, seven years ago, they all voted for it. They never got it built, but they all voted for it. And today, they make it so tough. You have to see. I’m doing everything I can. And we’re doing well with it. But there should just be one nice, fat sum where I can get the best four or five contractors — not worry about “I gave it out, but I have a lawsuit. And if the lawsuit happens, I have to undo it.”
How do you give a contract out where you have a contractor and he’s going to build 67 miles of wall — we have one case — but we’re being sued, our funding source, because we’re taking it from a certain area? And so we’re being sued. So we have to wait for the suit. I mean, how would you like to be building like this? It’s not good. It’s not good.
But we’re getting it done anyway. But they should say, “It’s not working without the wall.” You got to have — when they bum-rush you — they did that last week; they rushed in, a tremendous, large number of people. By the way, you know why they’re coming up, right? Because we have created the strongest economy in the history of our country. So they’re coming up because they want a piece of the economy. (Applause.) They’re not coming up for safety and this and that.
Do you ever see these people? They fly their flag. They come up from Guatemala — who, by the way, went back on their word to us. They were all set to sign a safe third agreement, and then today, or yesterday, they announced they can’t do it because they got a supreme court ruling — their supreme court. Right? They got a — in other words, they didn’t want to sign it.
So they’re supposed to sign what’s called a safe third. That’s a good thing for us, okay? That’s all I have to tell you. And they went back. So we’re going to do either tariffs or we’re going to do a form of tax, or we’re going to use our ban. You know, we — people don’t realize we won the ban.
You know, I saw one of the journalists — we’ll call him — who happens to be back there, I believe. One of — look at those cameras. Isn’t that terrible, or good or whatever?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Fake news!
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: Look at all those cameras. Wouldn’t it be great if they told the truth? (Applause.) They have such a low credibility. They started off very high, and then I ran and their credibility is so low you wouldn’t believe it. But that’s okay. But wouldn’t it be nice if they — think of it — think of it: What would be — what would be if we had an honest — I don’t want a media that’s for me or — I just want an honest media.
So we have our best poll numbers today that we’ve ever had. Can you imagine how good our poll numbers — with all the things that we’ve done — how good our numbers would be if we had just a fair media?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: One hundred percent!
THE PRESIDENT: Because they can take any — (laughs) — he goes, “A hundred percent.” (Applause.) Who said that? Stand up. Huh? Yeah. He goes, “One hundred percent.” And, you know, what? I like your long hair. It’s very nice, actually. (Applause.) Good. Thank you. Thank you. That’s funny.
So, above all else, we know this: That, in America, we don’t worship government, we worship God. (Applause.) Right? (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: One squad under God! One squad under God! One squad under God!
THE PRESIDENT: No, I’m not disavowing that. They’d like me — “Would you disavow that?” No, thank you. (Laughter and applause.) The squad. No, it’s very good. Very true.
These are the values that unite everyone in this room. These are the values that inspire hundreds of thousands of Turning Point USA members at more than 1,400 college and high school campuses in all 50 states. It’s incredible what’s been done with Turning Point and the job Charlie and everybody — I’ve met all of the people backstage just a little while ago. These are people that love our country. It’s amazing what they’ve done — the job they’ve done. And in a pretty short period of time.
And I was telling Charlie, too — and I said it before — remember, you are not in the minority. Most people are with you. There is a young woman today — I saw her on a beauty pageant — and she has conservative values.
And the pageant, which used she used to compete against my pageant. Mine did much better, but that’s okay. (Applause.) I had the Miss Universe. This is a different company. But I sold it. I figured, when you run for office — I sold it to IMG. Great company. You know, when you won — worked out a very nice deal, too.
But when you run for office, owning a beauty pageant is not the greatest idea. Do we agree? (Laughter.) Owning the Miss Universe and Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, by the way, was not exactly good with, maybe, running for President. So we sold it to IMG.
But what they did to this young lady was terrible. And because — and she was on “Fox & Friends” this morning, wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, which was pretty cool. (Applause.) Which was pretty cool.
Each of you is coming of age at a time of unlimited possibility. It’s true. Better than I think, ever before. We have the hottest economy on the planet Earth. (Applause.)
And I was elected — we’ve created more than 6 million new jobs. More than 7 million Americans have been lifted off of food stamps. Think of that. (Applause.) Unemployment for young Americans, age 16 to 19, has reached the lowest rate in over half a century. (Applause.) The unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded. (Applause.) Wages are rising and they’re growing fastest for blue-collar workers. Isn’t that great, though? (Applause.) People don’t talk about that. Young people have seen their wages rise by more than 10 percent. That’s a lot. Quickly, too.
Our economic revival is incredible. And it’s incredible news for everyone graduating from college or joining the workforce. This is the best time in the history of our country for young people like yourself to join the workforce because America is thriving, America is booming, and America is winning again and winning like never before. It’s never been winning like this. (Applause.)
And we did it through a lot of hard work. It’s not luck. I will tell you, if our opponent — if my opponent won, instead of having record stock markets and record employment numbers, you would have been in, in my opinion, a major recession, if not a depression. You would have gone down like a rock. Look what happened right after the election. The stock market was like a rocket ship because of enthusiasm. People wanted to have us win. It’s not me; it’s us. It’s all of us. It’s a movement. It’s us. And the market went up. (Applause.)
We cut a record number of job-killing regulations. We passed historic tax cuts so that our industries can compete and win against anyone in the world.
We are revising decades of ruinous trade deals that ravaged our communities and pillaged our factories. We were sending companies out of country — great companies. They were leaving us — going to Mexico, going to China, going to so many other places. The deals we made were the dumbest deals in the history of this world. It was unbelievable. Sixty thousand factories and plants and businesses closed up. Think of it: Sixty thousand. You would say, “How is that possible?” You’d get a map, you take 60,000 — you would say it’s impossible.
Sixty-thousand factories, plants, companies destroyed. Not destroyed — they went a different way. They were given no incentives to stay here. Some of the dumbest legislation ever passed — NAFTA.
The World — the World Trade Organization has been a horrible thing for us. That’s what built China. That, and the fact that our former Presidents did nothing about the fact that China was making hundreds of billions of dollars a year. And I guess they didn’t see it. I mean, 25 years, they didn’t see it. But we see it. And right now, they’re paying us billions and billions of dollars, folks. (Applause.) Billions. And they want to — they want to make a deal badly. And we’ll see whether or not we make a deal. We’ll see. We’ll see.
But our farmers are being helped. I said to our Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue — you know, because the — China, very smart. I don’t blame them. Look, I’m not blaming them. I blame our past leaders for allowing it to happen. I’m not blaming China. We should have done that to them. I blame our past leaders. I said that to President Xi of China. I said it. But I said to Sonny Perdue, “So, Sonny, they’re targeting us.” They said. They actually took ads in the Des Moines Register, anti-Trump —
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Iowa loves you!
THE PRESIDENT: I love Iowa, too. She says, “Iowa loves you.” I love Iowa. Well, ethanol is doing pretty well in Iowa too, right?
But — but, they took ads in the Iowa papers and it was anti-Trump ads, right? And then they stopped buying a lot of the product — almost everything. They stopped buying from our farmers because they knew that was my strength. The whole middle of the country is red. You saw that in that clip. That clip was fantastic. (Applause.) By the way, Charlie, that clip was so good, I would have rather seen it a second time and I could have come on a little bit later. I like it. But, that clip was great.
But you see what — the whole center is all bright red, meaning Republican. All red. And there’s — those little edges are blue. And so they targeted the red. Nobody said China is stupid. And they said, “We’re not going to buy product.” And, essentially, they really closed it up.
So we’re taking in billions of dollars in tariffs from China. They never gave us 10 cents. And I said to my Secretary of Agriculture — Sonny Perdue, who is great — I said, “Sonny, what’s the biggest year that we’ve ever had with China? How much money did they spend in the United States?” “Sir, I’ll get back to you.” He gets back to me the next day: “Sir, $16 billion.” I say, “All right. We’ll take $16 billion out of our tariffs” — which are many times that amount that they’re paying us in tariffs. They never paid us 10 cents.
“We’ll take $16 billion out” — that’s the highest they’ve ever paid — “and we’ll use that toward the farmers and distribute it. This way, nobody gets hurt.” (Applause.) And no other President is doing that for the farmers, or no other President is going to save the miners and save energy. You know, we’re the number-one producer of energy now in the world? (Applause.) And when I came, it was heading in the wrong direction. It was heading in a very bad direction. Right now, we’re bigger than Russia and bigger than Saudi Arabia and bigger than anybody. (Applause.)
And we know that our first duty and our one true allegiance is to the American nation and to the American citizen — the USA. Loyalty to our people is our guiding light, it’s our North Star, and our unwavering conviction.
We have secured record funding to build up awesome might for the United States Military because we know the best way to prevent conflict is to be prepared for it. So, you know, when you’re strong, strong, strong, it’s okay. They’re going to leave you alone. They’ll say, “Let’s pass.”
We had a depleted military. We built up our military. We had jets that were so old, they didn’t fly. We had a large percentage of jets — fighter jets — that were out. We had an old Navy. We’re building brand new submarines, brand new ships. We’re building tremendous F-35s, F-18s. (Applause.) We’re building a military the likes of which even we have never had because we have to. New missiles. We make the greatest equipment in the world.
We’re — I hate to mention this word, but we’re renewing and renovating our nuclear arsenal like never before. And hopefully — hope — (applause) — and we hope to God — we hope to God that we never have to use it. That’s what I say. “We hope to God we never have to use it.” (Applause.) But we have to have it ready. We have to have it as a — horrible — to me, the most horrible alternative that can happen is that. But we have nuclear the likes of which has — nobody has ever had like we have. And all pray that we never have to use it.
Our agenda is pro-worker and pro-family. We’re making childcare more affordable, expanding access to vocational education — so important. (Applause.) And our pledge to America’s workers had secured commitments to provide more than 9 million apprenticeships and job opportunities for industries all over the — the country. We’re helping people get jobs. We’re helping Walmart and so many companies. They went out — all out. They went all out.
And they’re working — and they’re working with a person you may have heard of, perhaps not: Ivanka Trump. She loves this. (Applause.) She loves it. She loves it.
I’ll tell you, she didn’t need it. She loves it. More than anything, that’s what she loves. Because she says, “We’re providing so many jobs and they’re training people.” And you know, the government can’t really train them. When you go into these big companies — the Caterpillars and all of these — you got to, sort of, be trained by the people that do it — the complexity, the aerospace. Lockheed Martin has been great. Boeing has been great. (Applause.) There are so many.
And they can train much better than the government. The government really wouldn’t know where to begin. So they’re training. We’re going to have close to 10 million very shortly. And Ivanka really has done an incredible job on that, so. (Applause.)
I might as well give her credit because the media will never give her credit. So, she’s my daughter; I’ll give her credit. But it’s true. And you know what? If she didn’t do a good job, I don’t know that I’d say that, but I wouldn’t be talking about her. That I can tell you. I wouldn’t. I just — I’d probably just fluff over it. She’s done an incredible job.
There’s truly never been a better time to be young and American. There’s never been a better time. (Applause.) Because our future is the brightest that it’s ever been.
A new poll only — you got to hear this. How about this whole witch hunt that’s going on? Should I talk about it for a second?
THE PRESIDENT: The Russian witch hunt, okay?
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: First of all, it’s very bad for our country. Makes it very hard to deal with Russia. And we should be able — they’re a nuclear power. They have a big country. And we should be able to deal with them without having this artificial stuff. But think of it: Only 11 percent, in a new poll, favor the starting of this ridiculous impeachment hearings that are going on. You hear about it.
So I said this morning — I said — I wrote it out. I said, “Let’s see…” — because I’m watching. It goes on for years and years. No collusion, no obstruction. “Oh, that’s not good enough. Let’s go more.” Forty million dollars, interview 500 people — they got nothing.
I could find something — I could take anybody in this audience. Give me $40 million. Give me unlimited FBI, unlimited interviews, unlimited — they interviewed 500 people. Listen to this: Two thousand five hundred subpoenas. They did everything. Their collusion; no collusion. They have no collusion. (Applause.)
Then I have an Article 2, where I have the right to do whatever I want as President. But I don’t even talk about that because they did a report and there was no obstruction. After looking at it, our great Attorney General read it. He’s a total professional. He said, “There’s nothing here. There’s no obstruction.” So they referenced, “No obstruction.” So you have no collusion, no obstruction, and yet it goes on.
And they think this is helping them. I personally think it’s hurting them. A lot of people think it’s very bad for them. But it just goes on. But I wrote something out this morning on a thing called Twitter. (Applause.) Whether we like it or not, it is a good way — it is a good way of getting the word out. Because I saw Mueller is testifying tomorrow, again. How many times? Two — two and a half years. And, actually, it started practically from the time I came down on the escalator.
They said, “You know, he’s got good numbers. We better start looking at him right away. Maybe he’s dealing with a foreign country.” I’m saying, “What are you talking about?” Listen to this. So I wrote this out this morning. I said, on Twitter, “Well, let’s see: We have the best economy in history.” And it used to be, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Right? It’s the economy — nothing else. “It’s the economy, stupid.”
So we have the best economy in history, the best employment numbers in history. The most people working — almost 160 million — in the history of our country. The most people working. That’s a big number. So we have the best economy, best unemployment numbers, most people working.
On Thursday, we had the highest stock market in the history of our country. (Applause.) And a lot of you with 401(k)s — and that’s not a rich-people thing. The people that own that stock are people with 401(k)s and everything else. We have the best stock market in the history of our country. We just got the biggest tax and regulation cuts in the history of our country.
We got rid of the individual mandate from Obamacare, which was the worst part of Obamacare. (Applause.) We got perhaps the biggest site — energy site — in the world approved in Alaska, called ANWR. Nobody could do it. From Ronald Reagan to present, they said, “We can’t do it.” We got ANWR approved.
We have the best and newest military that we’ve ever had, almost totally rebuilt from the depleted military that I inherited two and a half years ago. Our military was totally depleted from these ridiculous, endless wars.
So we have the best, newest military in history, and the VA — you don’t hear any problems anymore, do you? Remember? You’d hear so many problems. (Applause.)
We have the best VA in history, and I got Choice so that — that’s one of the big things that’s working — so that if a person has to wait for three weeks, four weeks, five weeks — can you imagine you go to a doctor and they say, “Come back in six weeks?” People were coming back — they were sick, and they were coming back and they were terminal. They could’ve been saved. They were waiting so long.
So I got Choice. You go out. If you have to wait, you go out and you see a doctor. We pay the bill. Okay? We actually — the least important thing is we save money. That’s the least important thing, in that case, but we do save money. But we also have a very happy VA. They love it.
Those are just a few of those things. So we have all of this: the best economy, best market, best military, best VA, best everything, and much, much more. And then I see, in this statement this morning, “Gee, let’s impeach the President.” (Laughter.) I mean, you figured these people have gone totally crazy. They’ve gone totally crazy. (Applause.) It is sort of nuts. It’s true. I guess that was a Clinton statement, right? “It’s the economy, stupid.” Was that Clinton?
But it’s about — you know — but it’s not everything about the economy. It’s not everything. A lot of other things. But, you know, we have — we’re like at the top of every single thing that we do, when you think our military and you look at — and let me tell you something I didn’t put: We are respected as a country again. They respect us. (Applause.) Because other countries have been ripping us off so badly, and some of the worst offenders are our so-called allies. They rip us off on trade.
European Union is worse to us on trade than China, okay? Nobody would think that. You know, a lot of us come from European Union. We come from Europe — our grandparents, our great-grandparents. So you think, “Oh, isn’t that nice?” Except, they kill us — the European Union. It was formed in order to beat us economically, and yet we protect them with NATO. So they rip us off on trade, and we protect them with military.
But here’s the problem with the protection: They’re not paying their bills. So the United States — I got $100 billion more in the last two years — $100 billion. I got them to pay. I said, “You got to pay.” (Applause.) Nobody else has ever done that.
It’s like this. It was like this with every other President. President Obama would go meet them, he’d talk nice — you know. I don’t know, to me, not so nice. Some people would say, “Oh, isn’t it (inaudible) a wonderful speech?” I said, “No, I fell asleep during that speech.” (Laughter and applause.) “I fell asleep. I don’t get it. I don’t get it.” And he never got crowds like we get, that I can tell you. Huh? (Applause.) So we got to be doing something right.
But think of this. So they weren’t paying their bills. So we’re paying for close to 100 percent of NATO. So here’s the story: They rip us off on trade. They have trade barriers that make it impossible for certain groups, like farmers and others, to go in. They rip us on trade, and then we protect them and they rip us on that too. And they don’t pay their bills. Other than that, it’s a wonderful deal.
So we’re getting it straightened out, folks. We’re getting it straightened out. Somebody said, “President Obama is much more popular in Germany than Donald Trump.” Well, he should be. He should be. (Laughter and applause.) Because Germany is the biggest offender. They don’t pay. They’re paying 1 percent; we’re paying 4.3 percent of a much bigger GDP. Germany doesn’t want to pay. They’re supposed to pay 2 percent. They’re paying 1 percent. And I say, “You got to pay, Angela. You got to pay, Angela. Please pay, Angela.”
And then they say, “Who do you like better: Obama or President Trump?” “Oh, I like President Obama. He was a nice…” Look, if I start getting good poll numbers over there, I’m not doing my job, okay? That’s the way it is. (Applause.) It’s true. I’m not doing my job. But they still like me. And I have a good relationship and a great relationship with some.
But somehow, even in this era of unprecedented prosperity and peace, the timeless traditions and values that make the American Dream possible are under attack like no one has ever seen before. These people have lost all control. And even the Democrats — they’re Left, but now they’re getting dragged into a radical Left position. I can’t imagine who’s doing that. But they’re being dragged — they’re being dragged radical Left with these people that I believe — honestly, I believe they hate our country. Okay? I believe they hate our country. (Applause.)
And it’s true. When I watch this maniac Tlaib screaming and shouting — and this was before she was a congressperson. Can you believe it? But screaming and shouting — out of control. And then you see, they have now another clip where she’s even worse. This is representing us? This is not what we want representing us, I don’t think. And I think it’s why we’re going to have a tremendous victory in 2020. These people are crazy. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
THE PRESIDENT: And, you know, when I have one of the others — I guess this is Cortez. You know, I said, “I’m not going…” “Sir, her name is Alexandria.” (Laughter.) And the guy couldn’t figure out her second name. It was so funny. I’m being interviewed by one of — “Her — her name is Alexandra. Um, wait a minute. Wait a minute, sir.” (Laughter.) Okay. He never got it out. He never found his notes.
I said, “That’s okay.” I told him, “Just call her ‘Cortez.’” Because I don’t have time to call her by the whole name. It’s too long. It’s true. You know, you’re doing an interview. (Laughter and applause.)
But she called our country and our people “garbage.”
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: She said “garbage.” That’s worse than “deplorable.” Remember “deplorable”? Oh, yes, you do. Huh? Remember Hillary? “The deplorables.” She actually said a word that was worse. She said “deplorables.” And what was the second word? Go ahead.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Irredeemables!
THE PRESIDENT: Irredeemables. That’s right. She said, “irredeemable.” She said —
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Lock her up!
THE PRESIDENT: (Laughs.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Lock her up!
THE PRESIDENT: Ooh —
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: She said “deplorables” and “irredeemables.” And when she said it, I said, “Boy, that ‘irredeemables’ is really a bad…” Well, that was not the one. You never know in politics, right? This is a tough business. You say a word and you’re gone. One wrong word. You can make 20 great speeches. Brilliant. They say, “He’s great. The greatest orator. The greatest orator of our times. He’s the great.” One word and you’re gone. Except for Trump — (applause) — because we represent you. Because we represent you.
AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you.
No, but it’s true. It’s a tough business. One word and you’re gone. It’s an incredible kind of a profession to have. It’s a very — that’s why they’re scared. You know, they go around — they’re petrified. They’re petrified that they’re going to insult 15 people and lose an election.
By calling out these four people, the “squad.”
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: By calling them out — because we don’t like when they talk about “evil Jews.” We don’t like when they say horrible things about Israel. They say — they say — you know, people are opposed to Israel and they can express what their opposition. But when they say it with venom hatred and language that nobody would use — nobody would use — it’s incredible. And then you don’t have the Democrats fighting for Israel, and they end up passing things that have nothing to do with what the original problem was. You saw that.
So I don’t know what they’re going to do. I don’t know. They have a big problem, because they have others than these four. I could name another 20 right now without looking at a note. I could name another 20 that I think are, in many way ways, worse. They’re worse. They’re not in this group. But they’re worse than this group, and they’re Democrats. And at some point, we will be naming them if you don’t mind, because we want to get the word out. We have to get the word out. (Applause.)
As conservatives, we’re grateful for the great heritage that we have, the heritage of being an American. So important to all of us. We know that America is the most just and virtuous republic ever conceived. I mean, we fight for other countries. I was with other countries two weeks ago, and we had the G20. And I’m talking to different people: “Who do you fight for?” “Just our country.” Who do you fight for?” “Just our country. “Who do you fight for?” And we fight for all these countries, and it costs us a fortune. And some of the countries are wealthy.
By the way, I’ve gone to all of them and said they have to now pay for their military. Okay? If you don’t mind that, okay? (Applause.) They haven’t done it.
I mean, we’re fighting for countries that are so wealthy, some have nothing but cash. Nobody ever asks them, “Why aren’t you paying us for this? Why aren’t you reimbursing us for the cost?” But we now ask those questions.
On the Straits — so we get very little oil from the Straits anymore. In fact, yesterday was very interesting. They said, “It’s very interesting there are no USA tankers here. They’re all from China, from Japan.” China gets 65 percent of their oil from the Straits, right? Japan gets 25 percent. Other countries get a lot.
And I said, “So let me ask you just a really stupid question.” We hardly use it. We’re getting 10 percent, only because we sort of feel an obligation to do it. We don’t need it. We have — we’ve become an exporter. Can you believe it? We’re an exporter now. We don’t need it. (Applause.) And yet we’re the ones that for many, many decades, we’re the ones that policed it. We never got reimbursed. We police it for all these other countries.
And I said, a while ago, I said, “Why are we policing for China? Very rich. For Japan? Very rich. For all these others?” And we’re policing also for countries, some of whom we’re very friendly with, like Saudi Arabia and others — UAE, others too. But why are we doing it without getting — why do we have our ships there and we’re putting our ships in the site?
And we did shoot down their drone the other day. You know, it’s funny, for religious people, they lie a lot. They lie a lot. (Applause.) You can see it laying right down on the bottom of that beautiful bed of water. (Laughter.) No, they said, “They never shot down a drone.” And then they say about, “We have captured 17 American spies.” I say, “No, no that’s…” First thing I did, I call up the CIA — true — “Sir, totally false.” “Okay.” By the way, totally false. But they make up stories. I just say, for religious people, they lie a lot. (Laughter and applause.)
We know the story of America is the story of good defeating evil. We protect so many people, and in some cases we shouldn’t have been doing it. It’s right overcoming wrong, and it’s freedom smashing tyranny. Americans are the patriots who threw off an empire, won an independence, settled the Wild West, ended slavery, secured civil rights, pushed the boundaries of science, vanquished the Nazis, brought communism to its knees, and put a man on the moon many, many years ago, right? (Applause.) And we will become the first nation to land astronauts on Mars, where they will proudly plant a very beautiful American flag. (Applause.)
Yet despite all we have achieved — despite the glory and grandeur of our nation — the radical Left has nothing but contempt for America’s heritage. And I’m talking about the radical Left among us. I’m not talking about the radical Left that are looking over failed countries, like Venezuela and others. I’m talking about the radical Left among us.
They see our history as a source of shame; our traditions and our victories as relics to be replaced; our values as obstacles to be removed; our citizens as subjects to be controlled; and America as a menace to be constrained. That’s what they see. That’s what they see.
The agenda of the radical Left is one of division, discord, and demolition. You know, when I see her running and ranting and screaming like a total lunatic — this is what we’re dealing with, okay? You can never have a country with values like that. Just look at it. There’s no reasoning. The language she uses. I mean, she was throwing a certain F-bomb, right? Do we know the F? (Laughter.) She was throwing that out about the presidency and about the President. And it’s just such a sad thing to see, how low have we gone.
The far-left has one fundamental objective and that’s the objective of power — the power to control you, the power to control your family, and the power to destroy the foundations of our great republic. But we will not let them. It will never happen. It will never happen. (Applause.) It will never happen.
And they’re right now destroying themselves and they’re going after everything. They’re doing things that nobody can believe. The people that I’m looking — they said, “Who’s your toughest opponent?” I said, “So far, I dream about — I dream about these people that I’m looking at.” There is no Winston Churchill in the midst. There is nobody that we look at. But you have to be very careful. Socialism is not as easy to beat as you think.
When you’re wealthy and you’re doing record stocks and you have 401(k)s, and you have all of the things that you have, and everybody is doing well, and somebody comes along and says, “We’re going to give you free everything. Everything is going to be free. Oh, by the way, we’re going to raise your taxes to 75 percent.” But they don’t mean that because it can’t nearly pay 95 percent, and that won’t pay for it either. Won’t even come close.
“We’re going to do the Green New Deal,” which is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard, okay? It’s crazy. But don’t kid yourself. Not as easy — when I’m up there on the debate, all alone with some maniac that they chose — (laughter) — and that maniac is saying, “We’re going to do this for you. We’re going to do that for you. We’re going to give you everything. We’re going to give you — everybody gets a free Rolls-Royce” — (laughter) — “every family. And we’re going to take better care of illegal immigrants than we take care of our citizens.” They tell you that.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: And when they’re saying all of this stuff, and then those illegals get out and vote — because they vote anyway. Don’t kid yourself, those numbers in California and numerous other states, they’re rigged. You got people voting that shouldn’t be voting. (Applause.) They vote many times, not just twice, not just three times. They vote — it’s like a circle. They come back; they put a new hat on. They come back; they put a new shirt. And in many cases, they don’t even do that. You know what’s going on. It’s a rigged deal.
For example, the radical Left is waging an unprecedented assault on the rule of law in America. They are. They want to eliminate our borders and totally abolish ICE. And now they want to abolish a thing called “Homeland Security.”
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: That means going on airplanes without any security. That means doing all of the things that you do, and you appreciate it, but you don’t even see what’s going on. But they now want to abolish Homeland. They started off with ICE. And let me tell you, these ICE people are great patriots. That’s a tough job. (Applause.) They go into these MS-13 gangs and, you know, even your local law enforcement — and we love our law enforcement. We love our law enforcement. (Applause.)
But these gangs are mean, they’re tough, they deal in a medieval style. They cut people up medieval-style because it’s more painful. These are sick people. We don’t want them. We’re taking them out by the thousands, out of our country. By the thousands. (Applause.)
So with raging anger, ignorance and malice, the far-left has slandered, libeled, and smeared our law enforcement heroes. They just go after our law enforcement; it’s so sad to see. They’re so respected and yet they don’t know it because all they do is they see the negativity put on by the media.
But the American people forcefully reject these hate-filled attacks. And that’s what they do. They’re hate-filled, and they are indeed attacks on our very brave public servants. Americans will always stand with the courageous men and women of ICE and Border Patrol and law enforcement. Always. (Applause.)
The hard-left is also waging war against freedom of speech. The greatest threat to this radical Left agenda is the truth. And the problem is, we’re not getting the truth from the media, for the most part. Some, yes. But for the most part, we don’t get the truth.
I can tell you stories where I’ll do something — and let’s say it’s good; they’ll make it look bad. Let’s say it’s great, things that you can’t look bad; you can’t — they’ll make it look okay.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Liars!
THE PRESIDENT: And if it’s bad — that is correct. That is correct. (Applause.)
What they’re doing — what they’re doing is unthinkable. And they’ve hurt themselves so badly. They’ll say, “Seven sources have said that this took pace in the White House,” or something. There are no seven sources. They make them up. You know what? They make them up. There are no — they have gone — they used to call up and say, “We’d like to just verify this statement or verify a quote for…” They don’t even call up anymore. We don’t hear from the New York Times, which is totally crooked. We don’t hear from the New York Times. The Washington Post, which is the Amazon — I always say, “It’s the Amazon lobbyist.” We don’t hear from these people.
They don’t call up and say, “We’d like to check a quote.” I don’t see anymore where they say, “Jim Smith of the White House made the following statement.” It’s always “a source who decided to remain anonymous from the White House.” Sometimes they’ll say, “Seven people from the White House.” They don’t exist. It’s a lie. They do it; they don’t check. They don’t do anything. They’re really, really dishonest people. And I’ll tell you, when I say, “The enemy of the people.” When I say, “The fake news.” When I say these things, I’m not kidding: It’s really dishonest. They have become — you know, they like the word “unhinged.” They have become — the media has become unhinged.
They used to call. When I was a — I used to get the greatest publicity. When I was doing buildings, I was happy. No problems. I was doing buildings. I didn’t have to worry about North Korea, Iran. (Laughter.) I didn’t have to worry about China and trade. You think it’s easy beating China on trade? Guess what? We’re beating them on trade. We’re beating them on a lot of — we’re beating everybody. (Applause.) But it’s not easy.
But I used to get the best publicity. Now, I haven’t had a good story in two and a half years. I’m dying for my first good story. They’re going to give me one someday. I think when I get one, it will be time. I’ll say, “I’ve just achieved something.” I got — I’ll say, “First Lady…” — they love our First Lady. They said, “First Lady…” — (applause) — they love our First Lady. “Hey, First Lady, I just got a good story. It’s time to hang it up.” (Laughter.) It’s time.
Someday we’re going to get them. We’re going to get them, because nobody has done what we’ve done in two and a half years. Nobody even close. We’ve done in the first two and a half years more than any President in the history of our country. (Applause.)
So anyone who speaks the truth is shouted down, censored, de-platformed, fired, expelled, harassed, intimidated, abused, and even, in many cases, assaulted. But they don’t go after certain of our people. Bikers for Trump — you ever see these guys? The Bikers for Trump. (Applause.) They leave them alone. Our construction workers, they leave them alone. Our law enforcement, they leave them alone. Anybody that looks real tough and real nasty, they leave them alone.
They only go after somebody that stands there and is not a fighter. Nothing wrong with that. And they beat the hell out of them and they pummel him, like what happened two weeks ago. They pummel him. That’s the only one they go after. They’ll go after that. They say, “Is he a fighter?” “No.” “Let’s hit him over the head with sticks and bats.” What they do, it’s a horrible thing. But hey, they don’t do it to many of our people. But they look for the people that aren’t the fighters.
These dangerous behaviors are the hallmarks of socialism. But socialism cannot survive when people are free to think for themselves. That’s why America will never be a socialist country. It’s never going to happen. (Applause.) So, thank you. Thank you.
Because as patriots, we cherish our First Amendment. We believe that every American has the God-given right to speak his or her mind. And no one can ever take away that right. (Applause.)
For centuries, Americans freely exchanged their ideas in the public square. Now, the public square exists online, and massive, multi-national tech companies have gained enormous power to censor opinions, shape public perception, and really, to decide what information citizens are going to be given. And I see it all the time. I see it on social media — for me. And I have people coming up all the time, “We want to follow you, sir. They make it so hard to follow you.” And I have millions and millions of people. But it should be much more.
I know exactly what’s happening. I knew it when it started. But the only thing I do say is this: It’s happened from the beginning — you know, Facebook, Twitter, Google, all of them, right? And they come to me when they want help. They want help because the Democrats want to shut them down. Can you believe it? How stupid is that for them? But maybe they don’t have the power that we think because they were totally against me in the election. And I’m standing now, before you, as the President of the United States. (Applause.) So maybe they don’t have the power. Maybe they don’t. I don’t know.
Everyone tells me, when you read — they talk about this tremendous power. And I’m saying, “That’s right. They’re making it impossible.” And then somebody will look at me, “But sir, you won.” But, they’re gaining more and more and more. And we’re looking at a lot of things because they have not treated us, as Republicans and conservatives — even when you get into religion, they have not treated us fairly. They haven’t treated us fairly.
A free society cannot allow social media giants to silence the voices of the people. That is why I’ve asked my administration to explore every possible regulatory and legislative solution because you have to have free speech. You have to have free speech.
I’ve also instructed federal agencies to hold our public colleges and universities accountable. When they do numbers — you go up to speak, and what they do to our people is just — and, by the way, I’m President of all the people — everybody. Everybody. I love everybody. I have people maybe I shouldn’t love. I love this nation. This nation is made up not only of us, it’s made up of everybody.
But what they do is so unfair. Any college that refuses now to respect your First Amendment rights will be asking for billions and billions of dollars, and they won’t be getting it. They won’t be getting it. Signed. (Applause.) All signed up.
Anyone can become a target of the Left’s brutal campaign to punish dissent. Hey, I’m the number-one target in the world. And here we are. But I’m the number-one target. Who’s more of a target than me? No matter what you do, I’m the great target for these people. These people are crazy.
Earlier this year, in Park City, Utah, a leftist released pepper spray into a high school auditorium to shut down a Turning Point USA meeting.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: Twenty students and teachers had to immediately seek major medical attention. Think of that. One of the students from that school joins us today — Ryan Zink. Ryan? Where are you, Ryan? (Applause.) Get over here, Ryan. Come on up here. Come on. Come up here, Ryan. (Applause.) Say a few words.
MR. ZINK: Hi, everybody. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Ryan! Ryan! Ryan!
MR. ZINK: I do believe the free speech in our schools is currently at stake. Us conservative students — there are many cases: myself, some other people that I’ve met here, and across the country — are being silenced, are being shut down by — whether it be their schools, teachers, friends. We’re not being listened to properly. And our voices need to be proudly expressed. And we cannot be silenced. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: You know, he had no idea that was going to happen. But he started to like it. I said, “You know, this could be a long time.” (Laughter.) He’ll be in office someday or doing something fantastic. Thank you, Ryan. Great job. (Applause.)
In May, faculty at West Haven High School in Connecticut tried to ban the local chapter of Turning Point USA because students hung up a sign that read “America is the best country in world.” Can you believe that? It is the best country in the world.
One Board of Education member viciously smeared the students as “racist, sexist, bullies who are brainwashed by their Republican parents.” But the attacks have only strengthened the group’s resolve, and membership has skyrocketed since then. (Applause.)
We are winning. We are winning.
With us today is that Turning Point USA chapter president, Dan Gallipoli. And Dan, I want to just thank you for that fight. Where is Dan? Dan. Do you want to come up, Dan? Come on up, Dan. He wants to come up. (Applause.) Come on up. Come on up. Come on up here, Dan. (Applause.)
MR. GALLIPOLI: Hi, everyone. It’s great — (applause) — it’s so great to be here. It’s such an honor. Thank you all so much. Thank you, Turning Point USA, for all of your support and your — for helping us with the fight for free speech on campus, no matter what. No matter what they say! (Applause.) No matter the teacher, no matter the student, no matter the faculty, we will stand up for what we believe in! (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Whoa! That’s fantastic, Dan. Now I see why he’s president of his chapter. Who wants to fight him? Thank you, Dan. Great job.
Last year, Hunter Richard — where’s Hunter? Hunter. You want to come up, Hunter? Do you want to? Come on up, Hunter. (Applause.)
Hunter is a high school sophomore in San Antonio, Texas. Great place. He just wanted to get a hamburger with a couple of his friends. And Hunter happened to be wearing a beautiful, red cap that said, “Make America Great Again.” (Applause.) And a 30-year-old man flew into a rage, stole Hunter’s hat — oh, I knew that. That was a pretty famous deal. That was all over the place, right? Threw a drink at him and called him a racial slur.
Thankfully, it was all captured on video and the assailant was arrested and wished he didn’t do it. (Applause.) And we all watched that event many times — that scene many times.
And Hunter, thank you for your courage. That was fantastic the way you handled it. Thank you. (Applause.) Please.
MR. RICHARD: Every day I go to school, I always wear a red MAGA hoodie. If you follow my Instagram, you’ll definitely see it all the time. I proudly wear my Make America Great Again hat every time I go out of my house. Although, I will say this, Mr. President, I do have one problem with you, and that’s that I only get to have you as my President for six more years. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Wow. Thank you. (Applause.) Great future. Thank you. Boy, I’ll tell you.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: President for life!
THE PRESIDENT: (Laughs.) Thank you very much. That’s what they’re afraid of, you know. Did you see the other side? Did you see they have some comedian — third-rate comedian? He’s going — and he really means it: “You know he’s going to win, don’t you?” They go, “Well, maybe.” “You know he’s going to win. And you know that, in six years, you know it’s going to happen. He’s not leaving, you know that. He’s never going to leave, you know it. He’s not leaving.” These people are insane. (Laughter.) And he believes it.
Thank you, Hunter. That was great. Great job. (Applause.)
You know that our movement stands for patriotism, confidence, excellence, liberty, justice, support for our military, love for America, and loyalty to our nation and all of its people. We’re together. We all stand together for American greatness.
And even at such a young age, the members of your generation are proving that our hearts and souls are all wound together. We are unbridled in our love for our country. We are truly American patriots. Remember that.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Keep America great!
THE PRESIDENT: Keep America great. (Applause.) That’s right. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
THE PRESIDENT: The forces of political correctness want to silence conservative students to make you feel alone, marginalized, and isolated. And you are not. But just look around you at this incredible, record-setting crowd. Many, many people outside, too. I hate to tell you. I hate to tell them. They didn’t do as well, but they have a screen. It’s not as good. Not quite the same, right? But we do the best we can.
But you’re not alone. The silent majority is silent no more. Your moment in the sun is just beginning. (Applause.)
The story of America has always been written by everyday citizens who loved their country so much they could not help but speak out. That’s what happens. That’s why these three young, incredible people came up here. “Would you like to speak, Hunter?” “Yes, sir!” (Laughter.) You know, most people go, “Oh, well, I don’t know, sir. Oh, maybe not.” But these people — it’s like all three of them.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I’ll do it!
THE PRESIDENT: “Ryan — you want to speak again, Ryan?” “Yes, sir. I do.” Right? No, this is — we — these are great people. These are people with courage.
Many of them were young — barely older than all of you. George Washington was just 21 years old when he received his first military command. Decades later, he chose a 20-year-old Alexander Hamilton to be his top aide. (Applause.) Betsy Ross was 24 when she began sewing the first American Flag. (Applause.) If you think about it, she’s probably more important now than she was two or three weeks ago when this stupid thing by Nike was done.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: And they’re a tenant of mine. They pay me a lot of rent. I probably won’t see those checks anymore, but I don’t care, because I’m President. I don’t care about that. (Applause.)
Amelia Earhart was only 23 when she took her first flying lesson on her way to becoming an aviation pioneer. Martin Luther King was 26 when he marched for justice through the streets of Montgomery, Alabama. (Applause.)
General Dwight Eisenhower and General Douglas MacArthur were both in their early twenties when they graduated from West Point, never imagining they would someday save the world from tyranny. (Applause.)
From the very beginning, America has been lifted even higher by the daring dreams of young Americans like each and every one of you. (Applause.)
Now it is your turn to inspire our country, your chance to choose greatness for America, because your time has come. Your time is now. (Applause.)
The choices you make over the next few years will shape much more than your own future — they will forever shape America’s destiny. Your choices, your leaders — you’re great leaders, you will be. Some of you in this room will be the great leaders of our country. A couple of you may be standing, essentially, here someday, in a position where you can do so much.
In mere months, some of you may take your first steps down a path that someday lead to discovering new breakthroughs in science, saving lives in medicine, leading a revolution in technology, upholding our values in public service, protecting our communities in law enforcement, defending our freedom in the military, or leading humanity into the stars.
As long as you are confident in our values, as long as you are loyal to our citizens, as long as you keep faith in God above, there is no limit to what you will achieve. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: One squad under God! One squad under God! One squad under God!
THE PRESIDENT: You are the ones who are lifting our nation, in the very near future — and I have no doubt you will do it — to soaring new heights. I have no doubt. I see the people in this room. There’s greatness in this room. There’s greatness in this room. Remember I said it. Someday, you’re going to think back to this day, and you’re going to say, “You know, I remember President Trump saying there’s greatness in this room.” And you’re going to be not only speaking about yourself, you’re going to be speaking about others in the room who you know who are going to rise to great heights with you.
You are the ones who are bringing about the incredible rebirth of the American spirit. You are the ones who will make this moment a turning point — a true, historical moment.
This generation — your generation –- will make the light and the glory of America shine brighter and longer and prouder than ever before.
I want to congratulate you. You’ve had a long journey, but your journey has just begun. I want to thank you for being here. May God bless you. And may God bless America. Thank you. (Applause.)
12:53 P.M. EDT