Remarks by President Trump to Members of the Military | Palm Beach, Florida
Via Video Teleconference
Mar-a-Lago Club and Resort | Palm Beach, Florida
9:06 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody, and happy Thanksgiving. You’re very, very special people to me and to everybody in this country — that I can tell you. And I’ve got five deployed units bravely representing each branch of our armed forces. And we’re going on live right now, and surrounding me is a lot of press. Better me than you — believe me, fellas. Better me than you.
It’s an honor to speak with you all and to give God thanks for the blessings of freedom and for the heroes who really have this tremendous courage that you do to defend us and to defend freedom. So we want to thank you all very much. Very, very special people. It doesn’t get more special.
Representing the Army, we have the First Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne who are conducting operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Colonel Toby — where is Toby? Raise your hand, Toby. Where’s Toby? Thank you, Toby. I hear so many good things about you, Toby. That’s good news.
But, Toby Magsig, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. And I have to say, just directly to the folks in Afghanistan, everybody is talking about the progress you’ve made in the last few months since I opened it open. We opened it up. We said go ahead, we’re going to fight to win. We’re not fighting anymore to just walk around. We’re fighting to win. And you people are really — you’ve turned it around over the last three to four months like nobody has seen. And they are talking about it. So, thank you very much — brave, incredible fighters.
Direct Support Team Golf of the Marine Corps Special Operations is also on the line. These great Marines are operating in Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Major Jonathan Rigline is the commanding officer. Semper Fi. Semper Fi.
I have a great Marine who’s the Chief of Staff — as you know, John Kelly — doing an incredible job, just like any Marine would. And, Major, to you and to all the Marines doing this great work in delivering defeat after defeat to ISIS — what you’re doing with ISIS is, again, being talked about. We’re being talked about again as an armed forces. We’re really winning. We know how to win, but we have to let you win. They weren’t letting you win before; they we’re letting you play even. We’re letting you win.
I also want to say hello to Captain Dave Stoner and all of the sailors abroad the USS Monterey, sailing in support of both the 6th and 5th fleets. The Monterey’s primary missions include ballistic missile defense, anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, and anti-submarine warfare. Thank you to everyone aboard the USS Monterey for your dedication. Thank you very much.
We’re also joined by the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron from Incirlik Air Base. Lieutenant Colonel Craig Morash, your squadron has done a tremendous job — tremendous — and we appreciate it. The fight against ISIS, it’s coming our way — coming our way. Big, big difference. A lot of things have happened. They say we’ve made more progress against ISIS than they did in years of the previous administration, and that’s because I’m letting you do your job.
You’re performing more than 1,000 missions over the skies of Iraq and Syria in the last four months. We’re very, very proud of you. And believe me, everybody in this country is watching and they’re seeing, and they’re seeing positive reports for a change, instead of the neutral and negative reports. It’s all positive.
To the Coasties aboard the Cutter Wrangell: Welcome and Happy Thanksgiving. Lieutenant Brian Hudson, you and the entire crew abroad the Wrangell are doing incredible work in the Arabian Gulf, performing theater security, defense operations, and maritime infrastructure protection. Thank you very much for your service. Very important area.
For each of you, I know it’s very hard to be away from home at this time of the year. We’re doing well at home. The economy is doing really great. When you come back, you’re going to see with the jobs and the companies coming back into our country and the stock market just hit a record high. Unemployment is the lowest it’s been in 17 years. So you’re fighting for something real, you’re fighting for something good.
A lot of things have happened with our country over the last very short period of time, and they’re really good — they’re really good. I especially like saying that companies are starting to come back. Now we’re working on tax cuts — big, fat, beautiful tax cuts. And hopefully we’ll get that and then you’re going to really see things happen.
So as we give thanks for this holiday, I know I speak on behalf of all Americans when I say that we totally support you. In fact, we love you — we really do. We love you. And this is a thanksgiving that you won’t forget. You’re in a very different part of the world than you were used to, but, boy, are you doing a job there. And thank God for you. Thank God for you.
We also want to give thanks to our loved ones — our amazing military families. I know they miss you, and they miss you so deeply and so badly. They’re every bit as important as every else you work with because they put up with so much. They put up with the time away and all of those things that they have to endure. And they endure it because they love our country and because they love you. And believe me, I know so much about military families. They respect and appreciate what you’re doing for this country, and they respect and appreciate what you’re doing for them, as a family. So your families love you and they miss you.
And again, I’m going to now — I’m surrounded by reporters and press, and I’m going to ask them to leave, and we’re going to have very confidential, personal conversations. We’re set up for that.
You know, it’s really wonderful what technology can do. So I’ll ask the press to get out, and I’ll say, “You’re fired.” And, by the way, media, Happy thanksgiving, I must say. Have a good Thanksgiving in Palm Beach, Florida. Thank you all for being here. I appreciate it.
9:13 A.M. EST
Remarks by President Trump to Members of the Coast Guard | Palm Beach, Florida
Station Lake Worth Inlet
Palm Beach, Florida
10:09 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: It is an honor to be here, I have to tell you. You know, the Coast Guard, always respected. But if you were looking at it as a brand, there’s no brand that went up more than the Coast Guard, with what happened in Texas. And I would say, in particular, Texas has been incredible. You saved 16,000 lives — nobody knows that — 16,000 lives.
In fact, when I first heard the number, I said, you mean like, six hundred? Five hundred? Sixteen thousand lives in Texas. So, as bad as that hurricane was — and that was a bad one. That was a big water job, right? It kept coming in and going back. They couldn’t get rid of it. They’ve never seen — I guess it was the biggest water dump they’ve ever seen. But when you get 16,000 — good to see this group of people. (Laughter.) But when you do 16,000, that’s really something.
And then Florida hit, and you know that one very well. You knew that one pretty well, right? The job you did in Florida. And then, Puerto Rico.
And I really mean that. I think that there is no brand, of any kind — I’m not just talking about a military brand — that has gone up more than the Coast Guard. Incredible people. You’ve done an incredible job. And I love coming in here and doing this with you today. I think it’s — well, we have to keep you very well fed. (Laughter.) This is good stuff. But it’s an honor.
And the First Lady, you know —
MRS. TRUMP: Happy Thanksgiving.
AUDIENCE: Happy Thanksgiving.
THE PRESIDENT: And we went together to Texas, and we saw what you were doing. And you just followed that storm, right next to that storm. And you just — you saved so many people.
I still haven’t figured out how people take their boats out into a hurricane. Someday you’ll explain it. Gene was just telling me that they actually do it to save their boat, in many cases. But they’re not thinking about their life, they’re thinking about their boats. And, I don’t know — I mean, they go out in a boat and they think, I guess, they’re — you know, they’ve got a wonderful boat, they’ve had it for years, it can weather anything. And then they have 25-foot waves pushing out — and that would be the end of them.
So you saved a lot of people. And I just want to thank you on behalf of the whole country and on behalf of us. What a job you’ve done, and thank you all very much. And I’ll also take questions if you have them.
Now, should we leave the media here to do the questions? (Laughter.) Or should we tell them to leave? You know what, it’s Thanksgiving, so let’s let the media stay. Okay?
Anybody have any questions about the country, how we’re doing, or any of those things? I love it when you don’t. (Laughter.) See, that means you’re doing great. I love that. That’s the greatest.
The press, I know, doesn’t have any questions. If you do, we won’t take them, but that’s all right. (Laughter.) The press has plenty of questions.
But the country is doing really well. Stock market, all-time high. This is all good stuff. I just spoke to a lot of your friends in Afghanistan and in Iraq. We spoke to the USS Monterey — great ship, great missile ship. We spoke to a lot of different folks from the Air Force, the Army — just now, a little while ago at Mar-a-Lago.
The telecommunications systems, what you can do now, we go live to Iraq, live to Afghanistan. I mean, it’s really incredible. But I told them our country is doing great. And you folks are fighting so hard and working so hard. And it’s nice that you’re working for something that’s really starting to work.
We’ve cut back so much on regulation and all the waste, and all the abuse. And the stock market on Friday hit an all-time high. The highest it’s ever been, ever.
Your whole, long life, the stock market is higher than it’s ever been. And that means your 401(k), all of the things that you have, whether it’s — even if you’re in the military, you have a country that’s really starting to turn.
We want to have a strong country. We want to have a country where I can buy new Coast Guard cutters and not have to worry about it, all right? And that’s what we’re doing, we’re building up wealth so that we can take care of our protection. And we’re ordering tremendous amounts of new equipment. We’re at $700 billion for the military. And, you know, they were cutting back for years. They just kept cutting, cutting, cutting the military. And you got lean, to put it nicely. It was depleted, was the word. And now it’s changing.
The Navy, I can tell you, we’re ordering ships. With the Air Force, we’re ordering a lot of planes, in particular the F-35 fighter jet, which is, you know, almost like an invisible fighter. I was asking the Air Force guys, I said, how good is this plane? They said, well, sir, you can’t see it. I said, yeah, but in a fight — you know, a fight — like I watch in the movies — they fight, they’re fighting. How good is this? They say, well, it wins every time because the enemy cannot see it. Even if it’s right next to it, it can’t see it. I said, that helps. (Laughter.) That’s a good thing.
But, I mean, we have equipment that — nobody has the equipment that we have. And it’s sad when we’re selling our equipment to other countries but we’re not buying it ourselves, okay? But now that’s all changed. And the stuff I said — the stuff that we have is always a little bit better too. You know, when we sell to other countries, even if they’re allies — you never know about an ally. An ally can turn. You understand. You’re going to find that out. But I always say, make ours a little bit better. You know, give it that extra speed. A little bit — keep a little bit — keep about 10 percent in the bag, because what we have — nobody has like what we have, and that’s what we’re doing.
But we’re really proud of the Coast Guard. And I’m very proud — I walked in today and Gene said, the day I got elected, the following morning they were putting up the statement that I made right on your front door — right on your glass. And I came in and the first thing I noticed, of course — I said, wow, look at that. And I said, did you put that up just for me because I happened to be coming here today? And you did that the first day, so that tells me something. That tells me something. Thank you. Special guys.
Let’s go, fellas, come on. Let’s get up here. Let’s get up here.
10:16 A.M. EST