US president Donald Trump told US Coast Guard graduates today that “no other politician in history… has been treated worse or more unfairly” as he had, and urged the young men and women to “fight, fight, fight” when they met adversity.
Trump’s speech, at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. is the first extended statement he has made since a series of recent controversies rocked the White House. A trifecta of events culminated last night in reports that former FBI director James Comey had collected a paper trail suggesting Trump tried to block an ongoing investigation.
While Trump didn’t speak directly about the Comey situation, the criticism he’s faced for firing Comey abruptly earlier this month, or allegations that he shared sensitive intelligence with Russian officials in the Oval Office, he railed generally against the unfairness of life.
“Over the course of your life, you will find that things are not always fair,” Trump said. “You will find that things happen to you that you do not deserve and that are not always warranted. But you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight. Never, ever, ever give up. Things will work out just fine.“
“Look at the way I have been treated lately, especially by the media,” the president continued. No politician in history—and I say this with great surety—has been treated worse or more unfairly,” he said. “You can’t let them get you down. You can’t let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams.”
Trump also seemed to muse somewhat philosophically about the future of the cadets in front of him, saying wistfully “You’ll always know just what you’ll be,” and adding that other people would “know who you are” by uniform, and welcome your presence. “What drifting soul at sea with only a short time to live doesn’t rejoice at the sound of chopper blades coming to rescue them from death,” Trump said.
The commencement speech offered a brief respite from the challenges brewing back in Washington DC, but the break was short-lived. Even as Trump was speaking, the Senate intelligence committee announced it had invited Comey to testify in Congress about his conversations with Trump, the latest sign of the questions being raised about Trump’s conduct.