NEW LONDON, Connecticut (AP) — President Donald Trump lashed out Wednesday at his “critics and naysayers,” saying that no politician in history has ever been treated worse than he has.
Trump was addressing the newest group of US Coast Guard officers, following more than a week of negative news coverage beginning with his sudden decision to fire James Comey as FBI director.
In his speech, Trump urged the 195 graduates in the Class of 2017 to “put your head down and fight, fight, fight” when life presents them with challenges and adversity.
“Look at the way I’ve been treated lately, especially by the media,” Trump said. “No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly. You can’t let them get you down. You can’t let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams.”
“I guess that’s why we won,” he said, before continuing to offer the graduates his advice, telling them to “never ever, ever give up.”
“Adversity makes you stronger. Don’t give in, don’t back down and never stop doing what you know is right,” Trump said. “Nothing worth doing ever, ever, ever came easy and the more righteous your fight, the more opposition that you will face.”
Trump’s appearance at the academy came the day after reports that he had personally appealed to Comey to abandon the FBI’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Trump fired Flynn earlier this year for misleading top White House officials about his contacts with Russian officials.
The White House has denied the latest report, which landed amid a furor over the president’s recent Oval Office meeting with Russian diplomats in which Trump is said to have disclosed classified information. The White House has said it was “wholly appropriate” for Trump to share the information.
Trump also praised the newly minted Coast Guard officers, emphasizing that they will be an asset to his efforts to protect the homeland, protect US harbors and seas from drug smuggling and human trafficking and keep out “all who seek to do harm to our country.”
He also said that during his trip to Israel next week, he’d “reaffirm our unbreakable alliance with the Jewish state.”
But his own political troubles were not far from his mind.
“Things are not always fair,” Trump said, adding that sometimes “things happen to you that you do not always deserve.”