President Trump Addresses Troops In Afghanistan
President Trump addressed US Troops on Thanksgiving Day at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.
Trump was Monday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”. Here are his words:
“There’s nowhere I’d rather celebrate this Thanksgiving than right here with the toughest, strongest, best, and bravest warriors on the face of the Earth. You are indeed that. You know, when I took office — if you can believe it, almost three years ago — we were very depleted. Our military was depleted, in terms of equipment. You see, right? They were all shaking their heads. That’s right. We have all those brand-new planes and brand-new helicopters and brand-new ships being built now. Brand-new, incredible submarines. Probably the most powerful submarines — probably the most powerful weapon in the world, is what we’re building, in the form of submarines. Nobody’s — nothing is even close.
But we have things that nobody has seen, nobody has heard about. And we’ll keep it that way. But we’ve spent $2.5 trillion — very close to that number. And very shortly, it will be at $2.5 trillion. And while I don’t love that — you know, what that does to my budget, because I’m a budget person — we don’t have a strong military budget, it don’t matter much do they, huh? I can (inaudible) have to worry about budgets. So, with what’s going on in the world today — very important. $2.5 trillion.
And nobody beats our great Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines. And we think, soon, we’re going to be adding a thing called “space” — you know about that, right? Space. (Applause.) We’re going to have space covered very well. We’re covering it now, but we have to cover it to a much greater extent. And you’ll be hearing about that in the coming days and weeks.
I’ve just come from serving Thanksgiving dinner to some of you — I recognize already, some of you in the audience. And — with General Milley and the folks. And we had a good time. I then got down — I sat down. I had a gorgeous piece of turkey. And I was all set to go, and I had some of the mashed potatoes and I had a bite of mashed potatoes. And I never got to the turkey, because General Milley said, “Come on over, sir. Let’s take some pictures.” I never got to my turkey. It’s the first time in Thanksgiving that I’ve never had anything called turkey. (Laughter.) But that’s okay. But it looked awfully good, I have to tell you that. I should have started with that, instead of the mashed potatoes. I made a mistake.
But I hope everyone enjoyed the fantastic meal. It certainly did look good. And hopefully everyone can get some well-deserved rest this holiday. Your family — they’re home, and they love you so much.
We flew 8,331 miles to be here tonight for one simple reason: to tell you, in person, that this Thanksgiving is a special Thanksgiving. We’re doing so well. Our country is the strongest, economically, it’s ever been. We have never done so well. We have the greatest economy anywhere in the world. So it’s nice to know that you’re fighting for something that is doing well, as opposed to something that was not doing well just a number of years ago.
Our stock market has reached the highest level ever in the history of the exchanges — all three, if you look. All three. It’s incredible. It’s incredible, what’s happening. It just broke a record. I think it’s close to 130 days. So we’re less than three years, and 130 times we’ve broken the all-time record. And to me, that doesn’t mean an all-time record. It means something different; it means jobs. It means 401(k)s.
People come up to me with their 401(k)s, they say, “Sir, you’ve made me look like a genius. Thank you very much.” You know, they’re up 78 percent. They feel good.
So I would just want to say that we thank God for your health and all of the things that you’ve done. You are very special people. And you don’t even know how much the people of our country love and respect you. And they do. It’s why I’m here. I’m just bringing the message.
The courageous American warriors in Afghanistan and across the region are leading the fight to vanquish America’s enemies and defeat forces of radical Islamic terrorism. I would say it so often during the campaign. That’s what we’re doing.
Together, we’re making tremendous progress. Just a few weeks ago, as you know, and as President Ghani mentioned, U.S. Special Forces brought the world’s number-one, most wanted terrorist to justice. When the President said more important than Osama bin Laden, I would say that, look, you know — different, in a way. He was an organizer. Al-Baghdadi was an organizer. He was the founder of ISIS. He was the father, if you want to call him that, of ISIS. I think he wasn’t so happy, three weeks ago, when he saw those incredible 67 men, in that case, just come pouring down onto where he was staying. And that didn’t work out too good.
And we have a new national hero. You know who that is, right? Conan. Conan is a new — is our new great hero. That was some- — and Conan was at the White House the other day. You might have seen it. And it was something.
But the animal known as al-Baghdadi — the founder, the leader of ISIS, the man that was trying to reinstitute ISIS, because we’ve defeated — we have 100 percent of the ISIS caliphate in Syria is now ours — he is dead. His second is dead. His third — we have the sights on the third. I think the third doesn’t want the job. (Laughter.) The third is saying, “You know what? Maybe I’ll go work in a store, or something.” (Laughter.)
But Baghdadi was a savage and soulless monster who raped, tortured, and slaughtered the innocent, including many, many Americans. When you saw those folks — those great people in the orange jumpsuits, oftentimes standing on a beach with a thug behind him and a big knife — that was all al-Baghdadi. But he’s gone. The American warriors hunted him down, they executed a masterful raid, and they punched his ticket to hell. That’s what happened. (Applause.)
Shortly after we got Baghdadi, we focused on some other elements in the area. And we also started leaving the area, because it’s secure. But we didn’t leave it totally. We kept the oil. Makes sense, right? I’ve been saying for a long time, “Keep the oil.” Hate to say it. I used to say it with a place called Iraq, too. “Keep the oil.” They didn’t listen to me. I was a civilian; they didn’t listen. Now they have to listen. (Laughter.) But we kept the oil. And we kept it and we can help the Kurds; we can help our partners; we can have it developed. It’s where they got their wealth. That’s where they got their money. We kept it. So, we’ll go back in when we have to, as it arises. But 100 percent.
We have thousands of prisoners. We’d like Europe to take those prisoners. They have not stepped up to the plate at all. Many come from France. Many come from Germany. They come from different countries in Europe. They have not stepped up to the plate. That’s not good. We have to talk to them, John, because they should be taking those people back and trying them. And if we didn’t do it, they’d go back to France and they’d go back to Germany and to UK, and to all of — all of the places where they came. That’s where they want to go back. And they should take them.
Weeks ago, we also announced that the forces are coming back. They’re coming back home. We’re reducing over here, but because of technology and all of things that we have, we’re able to reduce, in Afghanistan — very substantially, actually reduce — and do even more devastating attacks on the enemy. So, that’s part of the $2.5 trillion that we have coming.
Finest equipment in the world. We build the greatest equipment anywhere in the world, by far. And we’re selling that equipment now to many, many countries that are our allies. The enemies, we decide usually not to do it. History has said, “Don’t sell the good equipment to the enemy.”
Our message to the bloodthirsty terrorists is clear: You will not escape your wretched fate, because the long reach and the really awesome power of the United States military is unstoppable. We have the most powerful military in the world, by far. There’s nobody close. And we’re going to keep it that way. We’re going to keep it that way.
This evening, as millions of families sit down at their dinner tables back home, they’ll be saying a prayer for the men and women serving our nation in Afghanistan and deployed all around the globe — great men and women, all around the globe. Many are coming home.
Our citizens know that you’re standing guard, killing terrorists, crushing our enemies, and keeping America safe — really safe. But you’re also keeping it strong, and proud, and mighty, and free. And I’m here today to just really say, “Happy Thanksgiving.” But also, “Thank you very much.” Great job. Thank you very much. We appreciate it. (Applause.) Appreciate it. Very much appreciate it.
As President, I have no higher honor than to serve as Commander-in-Chief of the United States military — the greatest force for peace and justice in the history of the world.
This evening, I also want to express the profound and heartfelt gratitude of the entire American nation for our amazing military families, because they really do make you what you are, when you think of it. Anybody here disagree with that? Raise your hand, please. Nobody has the courage to raise your hand. (Laughter.) You have a lot of courage, but not that kind of courage, right? No, but it’s true. The families — they make you great. The extraordinary commitment and the sacrifice of your loved ones make it possible for all of our families to live in safety and to live in peace.