Invisible planes, water jobs and other things Donald Trump said in Thanksgiving speech to Coast Guard

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President Trump and First Lady Melania spent part of their Thanksgiving visiting a Coast Guard Station in Riviera Beach, Florida. In his remarks, Trump talked about an invisible plane, described a hurricane as a water job and challenged a guardsman to an arm wrestling match – Nov 23, 2017

It’s Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. and Donald Trump visited a Coast Guard Station in Florida to serve a Turkey lunch to the service members on duty for the holidays. During the speech he thanked the Coast Guard for their work in hurricane relief, and praised U.S. military equipment like the F-35 stealth fighter jet. 

READ MORE: Donald Trump’s Thanksgiving Day message to U.S.: Look at all I’ve done

Read the full transcript of his speech below.


“It is an honour to be here, I have to tell you. You know the Coast Guard, always respected. But you’re really looking at it as a brand, there’s no brand that we’re not [] 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 600? 500?’ 16,000 lives in Texas. So as bad as that hurricane was, and that was a bad one. That was a big water job, water kept coming in and going back, and 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  [unintelligible as Trump turns around to talk to crowd] but it was 16,000, that’s really something.
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“Then Florida hit, and you know that one very well, you knew that one pretty well, right? The job you did in Florida, and in Puerto Rico, and I really mean that. I think that there’s no brand of any kind that, 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 that, we have to keep you very well fed. So this is good stuff” [Trump points to food]. But it’s a honour, this is the first lady you know.”

“Happy Thanksgiving,” Melania Trump says.

“We went to together to Texas and we saw what you were doing, and you just followed that storm, right next to that storm, and you saved so many people. I still haven’t figured out how people take their boats out into a hurricane. Some day 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 and that would be the end of them. But, 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.

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“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) You know what, it’s Thanksgiving, so let’s let the media stay.  Anybody have any questions about the country, how we’re doing, or any of those things?”

[Trump looked around the room]

“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 OK. (Laughter) The press has plenty of questions.

“But the country’s 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, and we spoke to the USS Monteray, great ship, great missile ship. 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. You go live to Iraq, live to Afghanistan, and it’s really incredible. But I told them, our country is doing great. 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.

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“And the stock market on Friday hit an all-time high. The highest it’s ever been — ever. [Trump points to young boy] Your whole long life, the stock market’s higher than it’s ever been. And that means your 401(k)s, your — 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, alright. And that’s what we’re doing, we’re building up wealth, so that we can take care of our protection.

“We’re ordering tremendous amounts of new equipment — we’re at $700 billion dollars 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 —depleted, was the word. And now it’s changing.

“The navy, I can tell you they’re ordering ships, the Air Force is 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 ‘How big is this plane?’ they said ‘You can’t see it,’ I said ‘ yeah but in a fight, you know a fight like I watch in the movies, a fight they’re fighting. How good is this?’ They said ‘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, that’s a good thing.’

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“But we have equipment, Nobody has the equipment that we have. It’s sad when we’re selling our equipment to other countries, but we’re not buying it ourselves. But now that’s all changes. I said the stuff 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, a n ally can turn you know, you’re going to find that out – but I always say make ours a little bit better. Give it that extra speed, little bit, keep a little, keep about 10 per cent in the bag. Because nobody has what we have and that’s what we’re doing.

“But we’re really proud of the Coast Guard. 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. Did you do that for me because I happened to be coming today.’ And you did that the first day and so that tells me something. That tells me something.

Let’s go, fellas, come on, let’s get up here.”

Trump then handed out sandwiches and chatted personally to the group assembled.

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