Is the Data Act more boon or boondoggle?
Trump kept to an upbeat message in his first extended public appearance since firing James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director this week, saying the lawyer and veteran prosecutor was an incompetent “showboat” and “grandstander”.
Trump’s chief spokesman refused to comment Friday on whether active listening devices are in the Oval Office or elsewhere in the building, a non-denial that drew comparisons to the secretly taped conversations and telephone calls that led to President Richard Nixon’s downfall in the Watergate scandal in the 1970s. He urged the graduates to never stop fighting for what they believe in.
Trump’s Liberty University address was short on Scripture but cast the president as a defender of the Christian faith – a mantle he assumed throughout the campaign. Falwell, the son of late evangelist and conservative activist Jerry Falwell, was one of Trump’s first endorsers, and evangelicals were one of the largest groups to endorse Trump’s presidential race.
“In America we don’t worship government, we worship God”, Trump proclaimed, to thunderous applause.
And as he described the road ahead for the graduates, Trump described the lessons he says he’s learned since taking power in Washington.
At one point, Trump said he has seen firsthand how “the system is broken”.
The president also offered a robust defense of public faith in American life, saying graduates shouldn’t let other people tell them what do believe, “especially when you know that you’re right”.
U.S. President Donald Trump waves before delivering a keynote address at Liberty University’s commencement in Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S., May 13, 2017. After Trump’s inauguration, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer pushed back strongly on reports that the size of the crowd was smaller than the one at President Barack Obama’s in 2009.
Looking out at the class of 2017, arrayed before him, he noted that today, as they graduate, he is president of the United States. “I am guessing that some people here today thought that. would really require major help from God”.
“We are Liberty students who are disappointed with President Falwell’s endorsement and are exhausted of being associated with one of the worst presidential candidates in American history”, the group’s statement read.
Trump followed up by reminding students that the best things in life are always hard to come by, telling them not choose the path of least resistance, but rather choose God’s straight and narrow path – where only the few, the bold and the faithful go.
Critics have assailed Trump for abruptly dismissing Comey, who was leading the agency’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, and possible ties between Moscow and the Trump presidential campaign.
“You are living witness of the gospel message of faith, hope and love”, Trump said.
Being an outsider is fine, he said, because it is outsiders who change the world.
Trump, who took office on January 20, also sounded familiar campaign themes about a broken system in Washington.