After touring the border wall prototype site in Otay Mesa Tuesday, President Donald Trump took Marine One back to MCAS Miramar where he gave a speech in front of thousands of Marines.
President Trump began his speech thanking the members of the military and their families for their dedication, and drew loud applause throughout the speech as he hit on topics including military pay, North Korea, and the development of a Space Force.
On stage, backdropped by an F/A-18, Trump pledged to give the armed forces its largest pay raise in more than 10 years as part of his proposed $700 billion budget.
“We're also investing in our greatest weapon of all, our most powerful weapon, our most beautiful weapon, our most brilliant weapon: you,” Trump said. “In 2019 we want to give you your largest pay raise in over a decade. You deserve it.”
It was the president’s first visit to a California military base and he wasted no time in making sure the troops knew that he appreciates the work they do for the country.
“To the fighting men and women of Miramar, and all across the San Diego area, we must all think bigger, build faster, push farther, dare higher and be greater than ever, ever, ever before. Each one of you is vital to our mission – you’re fighter pilots, helo pilots, mechanics, engineers, hospital, sailors and sergeants. But above all, you are great American patriots.”
Trump addresses North Korea, mentioning that he hopes the planned talks between him and Kim Jong Un will be beneficial, and moved on to other foreign policy issues like the Iran deal and the fight against ISIS.
“We won't let up until ISIS is completely destroyed. ISIS never thought this would happen. They never got hit like this. We took off the gloves. In one year we did more damage to ISIS than other administration, a certain other administration did in many years. We took off the gloves,” Trump said.
What may have been the loudest applause for the president came after he talked about the importance of strengthening the nation’s military mission in space, joking that one day soon he may have to start a Space Force.
“My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a warfighting domain just like the land, air and sea,” Trump said.
The president said he wasn’t serious when he first thought of the idea of a Space Force, equivalent to the other primary branches of the military, but said it could be something to look ahead to.
He suggested the idea could be the next breaking news story as he pointed to the pool of media personnel covering his speech.
“Ah, that fake news,” Trump said before a loud mix of laughter and applause.
Before signing off, Trump recapped his visit at the border for the troops and revisited the topic of border protection. The president said that a new border wall will protect the country by keeping dangerous criminal and terrorist organizations out.