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Trump, Saying He Is Treated ‘Unfairly,’ Signals a Fight

You can t let them get you down. You can t let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams, he said.

I guess that s why I won, Mr. Trump added.

Mr. Trump, dressed in a dark suit under a baking sun, read his speech from teleprompters, although he occasionally veered off script to extol the virtues of the Coast Guard. At times, he expressed what seemed like wide-eyed wonderment at its exploits on the high seas and the nation s waterways.

To secure our borders from drug cartels, human smugglers and terrorist threats, Coast Guard cutters patrol more than 1,500 miles below our southern border, he said, adding, to the mild bafflement of a friendly crowd, A lot of people didn t know that.

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The crowd seemed to approve of the president s speech, cheering for him and sometimes offering a standing ovation. But in the bus lines in the parking area after the ceremony, some relatives of graduates complained that Mr. Trump had struck a me note with his speech.

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It was the president s first public appearance since The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Mr. Comey had written a memo in February in which he said the president had asked him to close an investigation into Michael T. Flynn, who had been pushed out the day before as Mr. Trump s national security adviser.

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Mr. Trump did not wave to reporters as he boarded Air Force One[4] for his flight to Connecticut. But he appeared with a smile and a salute as he walked along a processional to the dais at the Coast Guard Academy s football field.

Presidents have often used speeches to the nation s service academies to lay out important foreign policy principles.


A Times Exclusive: Trump, Comey and the Russia Investigation

Michael S. Schmidt, a New York Times reporter, explains new revelations from a memo written by James B. Comey, the fired F.B.I. director. The memo showed that President Trump may have tried to halt the agency’s investigation into Michael T. Flynn.

By A.J. CHAVAR on Publish Date May 16, 2017. . Watch in Times Video [5]

In 2002, after the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush used a commencement speech[6] at the United States Military Academy at West Point to declare his policy of pre-emption, under which the United States pledged to attack any country that posed a critical threat to the American homeland.

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In 2014, also at West Point, President Barack Obama told graduating cadets[8] that the United States would rely on local partners to fight counterinsurgency wars in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, rather than committing large numbers of American troops.

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Mr. Trump used this speech to describe his coming foreign trip[10], which his new national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, said would focus on a message of unity to the Muslim world. In his Coast Guard address, Mr. Trump invoked the phrase radical Islamic terrorism and said it was important to stamp it out. Ahead of a meeting with NATO partners in Brussels, he reiterated his call to make allies pay their share for defense.

The president s comments at the ceremony were in contrast to more somber remarks from Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, the Coast Guard commandant, and John F. Kelly, the secretary of homeland security, about the significance of leadership, character and the rule of law.

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With national security also comes public trust, and the two of those are interwoven, Admiral Zukunft said. You don t have both of those unless you have leaders of character.

Mr. Kelly repeatedly referred to the United States as a nation of laws, and urged the graduates to focus on protecting the ideals of the United States Constitution.

Tell the truth to your seniors, said Mr. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general. Even if it s uncomfortable.

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  4. ^ More articles about Air Force One. (
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