Trump at National Prayer Breakfast: "Corrupt People" Put Me Through "Terrible Ordeal" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Trump at National Prayer Breakfast: "Corrupt People" Put Me Through "Terrible Ordeal"

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Thank you. Well, thank you very much. I am working very hard for you, I will tell you.

(LAUGHTER)

And sometimes you don't make it easy, and I certainly don't make it easy on you.

(LAUGHTER)

And I will continue that tradition if I might this morning, and Arthur, I don't know if I agree with you.

(LAUGHTER)

But I don't know if Arthur is going to like what I'm going to say.

(LAUGHTER)

But I loved listening to you. It was really great. Thank you very much. And thank you, congressman, for the great job you've been doing, and the relationship and the help. You're a warrior. Thank you very much. And Kevin, you're a warrior. Thank you. The job you've done is incredible. It wasn't supposed to be that way. A lot of extra work, unnecessary work.

It's wonderful to be with the thousands of religious believers for the 68th Annual National Prayer Breakfast. I've been here from the first one where I had the privilege of being asked. I've been with you for a long time before that. And we've made tremendous progress, tremendous progress. You know what we've done. I don't think anybody's done more than all of us together during this last three years. And it's been my honor.

But this morning we come together as one nation, blessed to live in freedom and grateful to worship in peace. As everybody knows, my family, our great country and your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people. They have done everything possible to destroy us, and by so doing, very badly hurt our nation. They know what they are doing is wrong, but they put themselves far ahead of our great country.

Weeks ago and again yesterday, courageous Republican politicians and leaders had the wisdom, the fortitude and strength to do what everyone knows was right. I don't like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say, I pray for you, when they know that that's not so. So many people have been hurt, and we can't let that go on. And I'll be discussing that a little bit later at the White House.

We're joined today by two people whose faith inspires us all, our amazing wonderful friend, Vice President Mike Pence and his wonderful wife, Karen.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Karen. Thank you to all of our great political leaders out there, so many that I've been working with so hard over the last three years, and we've accomplished so much. And to members of my cabinet in attendance, Secretary Mike Pompeo, Mark Esper, David Bernhardt, Gene Scalia, Alex Azar, Ben Carson, Dan Brouillette, Betsy DeVos, Robert Wilkie and Administrator Jovita Carranza. Joining us--

(APPLAUSE)

--for this cherished tradition are a lot of friends in the audience. And many really have become friends. They are political leaders. They've become great friends. That's all I get to meet anymore--

(LAUGHTER)

--that and the enemies, and the allies, and we have them all. We have allies. We have enemies. Sometimes the allies are enemies but we just don't know it.

(LAUGHTER)

But we're changing all that. But thank you all, and thank you all for being here. I also want to welcome foreign dignitaries from more than 140 countries. That's something.

(APPLAUSE)

That's something. Everyone here today is united by a shared conviction. We know that our nation is stronger, our future is brighter, and our joy is greater when we turn to God and ask him to shed his grace on our lives. On Tuesday I addressed Congress on the state of the union and the Great American comeback. That's what it is.

(APPLAUSE)

Our country has never done better than it is doing right now. Our economy is the strongest it has ever been. And for those of you that are interested in stocks, it looks like the stock market will be way up again today. According to the latest Gallup Poll that just came out, a little while ago, a few minutes ago, Americans' satisfaction is at the highest level ever recorded. Can you imagine? And that's from Gallup, no friend of mine.

(APPLAUSE)

Ninety percent of Americans say they are satisfied with their personal lives. How about that? Isn't that something? Just came out today.

(APPLAUSE)

They must have known I was going to be here.

(LAUGHTER)

In everything we do, we are creating a culture that protects freedom, and that includes religious freedom.

(APPLAUSE)

As I said on Tuesday in the House chamber, in America we don't punish prayer. We don't tear down crosses. We don't ban symbols of faith. We don't muzzle preachers. We don't muzzle pastors. In America, we celebrate faith. We cherish religion. We lift our voices in prayer. And we raise our sights to the glory of God.

(APPLAUSE)

So much of the greatness we have achieved, the mysteries we've unlocked and the wonders we've built, the challenges we've met and the incredible heights that we've reached has come from the faith of our families and the prayers of our people. Before America declared independence, patriots in all 13 colonies came together in days of fasting and prayer. In the bitter cold of Valley Forge, Washington and his men had no food, no supplies and very little chance of victory. Reminded me a little bit of 2016. We had very little chance of victory--

(LAUGHTER)

--except for the people in this room and some others believed we were going to win. I believed we were going to win. But what they did was have an unwavering belief that God was with them. I believe that, too. God is with the people in this room. Before a single skyscraper rose up in New York City, thousands of poor American families donated all they could to build the magnificent St. Patrick's Cathedral.

(APPLAUSE)

When Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, he said Houston, I would like to request a few moments of silence. Then he read from the Bible.

(APPLAUSE)

At every stage of our nation's long march for civil rights was inspired, sustained and uplifted by faith, prayer and devotion of religious believers. To protect faith communities, I have taken historic action to defend religious liberty, including the constitutional right to pray in public schools.



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