May 25, 2018, 12:18 PM ET

Trump delivers commencement at Naval Academy, declares 'America is back'

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President Trump delivered a commencement address at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland Friday, declaring to the graduating class that “America is back” and “respected again” on the international stage.

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“We are witnessing the great reawakening of the American Spirit and of American might. We have rediscovered our identity, regained our stride and we're proud again,” Trump said. “Our country has regained the respect that we used to have long ago abroad, yes they’re respecting us again, yes, America is back.”

PHOTO: President Donald Trump addresses a U.S. Naval Academy graduation ceremony at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, May 25, 2018 in Annapolis, Md.Alex Wong/Getty Images
President Donald Trump addresses a U.S. Naval Academy graduation ceremony at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, May 25, 2018 in Annapolis, Md.

The president's commencement address comes a day after the president cancelled a planned summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, which had been scheduled to take place in Singapore on June 12th, saying it would be "inappropriate" to move forward with the meeting given the "tremendous anger and open hostility" expressed in a previous statement from North Korea that threatened the possibility of nuclear showdown and disparaged Vice President Mike Pence as a "political dummy."

PHOTO: President Donald Trump stops to talk to members of the press outside the White House before heading to Annapolis, Maryland, May 25, 2018.Carlos Barria/Reuters
President Donald Trump stops to talk to members of the press outside the White House before heading to Annapolis, Maryland, May 25, 2018.

The president told the graduates that his interest in building up the military is as a means to prevent war but also told the graduates that “victory, winning, beautiful words” would be the only option in the event of inevitable conflict.

“The best way to prevent war is to be fully prepared for war, and hopefully we never have to use all of this beautiful new powerful equipment but you know you're less likely to have to use it if you have it,” Trump said. “And if a fight must come there is no other alternative: Victory, winning, beautiful words, but that's what it's all about.”

As he drew near to the end of his remarks, the president pointed out that he was given the option to leave the commencement ceremony after delivering his speech, or to stay for just the top awardees, or stay to shake the hands of each graduate.

“What should I do? What should I do?” the president asked rhetorically, canvassing the audience.

“I'll stay, I'll stay,” the president said, responding to the applause from the audience.

At one point, the president made a vague reference to the Naval Academy’s winning streak in the annual Army-Navy matchup, saying he didn’t want to mention who won the game, but applauding the school’s record of “winning.”

“Let me take a guess you're still not tired of winning. Winning is such a great feeling, isn't it a great feeling? Winning, a great feeling, nothing like winning, gotta win,” Trump said.

In closing his remarks, the president applauded the graduates for their service to country and their skill as warriors.

“You are warriors, you are champions, and you will lead us only to victory,” Trump told the graduates. “Anchors away!”

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  • Thomas

    I can just imagine how awkward those graduates must have felt.

  • Sam Adams

    Shaking hands with every graduate (over 1100 of them for over an hour and a half)...... AWESOME!

    Way to go Mr. President!

  • Save America from Ourselves

    First of all, who writes this stuff for the worst orator I have ever heard. He now takes G W Bush's place.

    “We are witnessing the great reawakening of the American Spirit and of American might. We have rediscovered our identity, regained our stride and we're proud again,” Trump said. “Our country has regained the respect that we used to have long ago abroad, yes they’re respecting us again, yes, America is back.”

    Commentary:
    * We are witnessing the reawakening of the Spriit of the American voter to never let this happen again.
    * No offense I am and always have been a PROUD American, so I don't know what his reference to "again" is
    * Under this administration, we actually lost the GREAT respect abroad we just had a year and a half ago.
    * "America is back" Where the hick did America go???

  • Sal Monela

    I'd refuse to shake Trumps hand. I wouldn't give the man the time of day!

  • Educated

    ....Lol, straight from America's PIMP in cheif.

  • Ronald Green

    Sadly, ABC left out the part when 2 former Naval graduates pointed out the personal cowardice, narcissism and incompetency of Trump and further stated that Trump was a physical coward, a liar and no leader at all.

  • Sal Monela

    It's a shame that these fine young men and women have this idiot as their 'commander and chief'. How embarrassing.

  • Jrducky

    If he thinks war is such a great thing, I hope his sons are registered and don’t suffer from the same malady of bone spurs that kept thier father from doing the right thing!!

  • brickmette

    Trump's speech to the Naval graduates was embarrassingly juvenile, patronizing, and insulting.
    He spoke as though he were giving a 'pep' talk to a group of high school sophomores.
    He then had the gall to imply that he himself was the cause of America's successes.
    It should be noted that, when the President speaks at a Naval graduation ceremony, the graduates are a captive audience.

  • Gordie Eggleston

    Gosh, if Hillary had been President (and showed up) she would have only shaken the hands of select women graduates. If she even SEES this video she will faint dead away at the thought of having been there herself and of having had to stand for that long.

  • helicohunter

    He thinks America is now more respected by the world? He obviously hasn't spoken to regular people in any other country.

  • concernedvoter

    Nothing more motivating to our Troops than having this 5 time Draft dodger give a speech about Courage and Honor to our fine men and women of our Great Military.. LOL What a Hypocrate..

  • Laney D.

    He's going all out to prove that he's great. Give it up Donnie. This is all about the election.

  • DemsHateFacts

    Wow.....Lib/Dems even Hate Trump for shaking hands with graduates. It is so easy to debate liberals...use Facts...they run away, Deflect, or call you names. Get over it...you lost...Hillary lost. We have 7 more years of this great person leading the helm. I can't imagine if Hillary were in office.
    Maxine, Nancy, Chuck...these are the Dem/Lib leaders. Embarrassing....no message...no candidates....and all they want to do is take more of my hard earned money. I already pay over 50%...how much more you want? I know...all of it to give to the NON WORKERS.

  • Anthony

    With Trump at the helm, America's ship is sunk.

  • c.g.

    And just remember graduates......if you get "caught" by the enemy and a POW, you are NO hero of any kind!! Says the prez who got out of any military service with the help from his rich daddy and his hurt foot.....

  • Stephen Sjb

    HA! I LOVE THIS GUY.. (I'll let you in on a secret, America does too!)

  • GarfieldRocks

    Wonder how much we had to pay the Naval Academy to let him speak.

  • Dan Ketch

    A colossal fool and con-man. His empty-ass head should be above a tight noose. Sickened.

  • @ Clown Parade

    These men deserve better than this. Someday they can say:” I remember when he was on top”. “My,how he has fallen”

  • BjTp

    wars are supposed to be a last resort not a talking point in this jingoistic child's rah rah rant..

  • Millard Farquar

    Coming from Mr. Bone Spur. Beyond laughable. The Coward-In-Chief.
    .

  • b rubble

    So sounds like Donald is hinting that he wants a war. And he favors the navy over all the other branches of our military? Don't trust him navy because he has no loyalty.
    And he had to think should he stay? He had to make that about him. Wow.

  • Planet Earth

    I'm guessing he didn't have the balls to give his famous "captured soldiers are losers and shouldn't be considered war heroes since they were captured" speech in front of this crowd either.

  • b rubble

    -We are witnessing the great reawakening of the American Spirit and of American might.
    Donald we awoke to a nightmare when the Russians elected you.

    -We have rediscovered our identity, regained our stride and we're proud again, Trump said.
    Donald we have lost our way. Well about 30% of America.

    -Our country has regained the respect that we used to have long ago abroad, yes they're respecting us again, yes, America is back.
    America was never gone and our country has lost all respect that we worked for so long and abroad.

  • fmd160

    There is very little film of the audience in this story. Is that because the audience didn't look enthusiastic?

  • Planet Earth

    It's possible donald really believes he is respected since his handlers probably only show him positive coverage about himself

  • Jen Bordon

    He almost looks natural up there bobbing his head left and right between the two
    teleprompters trying to read a speech that an actual adult wrote.
    Then he goes rogue, and faithfully demonstrates his 55 IQ.

  • Lumeni vital

    So, for some strange reason he is stuck these days on using the word “beautiful,” and used it 3 times in the 4th and 5th paragraphs. And once describing military equipment as beautiful?

    With the exception of Flynn, Kelly, and Jackson (military) Trump appointees, I respect the military.

    I would rather shake the hand of probably anyone in the Military rather than THIS deceitful Presidents hand.

  • Debra

    Every time Trump opens his mouth, he shows what a naive, ignorant, childish fool he truly is. He has the mind of a 3 year old, seeing the whole world in simplistic, black-and-white terms. How embarrassing. The graduates deserved better.

  • Prophet With Honor

    We don't need to be "back" because we were never away.
    Trump insults the intelligence of the graduates.