Trump to deliver commencement address at Liberty University

The commencement address was his first as president.

Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., was founded by Pastor Jerry Falwell in 1971.

"I want to thank you", Trump said to the 50,000 in attendance. "Boy, oh boy, you voted".

After winning an overwhelming 80 percent of the white evangelical vote in November, Trump returned on Saturday as president to assure students that he still does not take his vow to Champion the Christian faith lightly. Falwell, the son of late evangelist and conservative activist Jerry Falwell, was one of Trump's first endorsers, and evangelicals were one of the largest groups to endorse Trump's presidential race.

Overall, the speech lacked fireworks, a rarity for a Trump gathering.

"In America, we don't worship government", Trump added at one point.

But while the president's speech was greeted with applause Saturday, not all Liberty University students were keen to have Trump as their commencement speaker.

He occasionally sounded self-reflective as he imparted wisdom to the graduates.

In a Friday tweet, Trump said Comey "better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" "Almost all of them are very well known". "And always have the courage to be yourself".

Trump's appearance at Liberty was the first of two commencement addresses he'll give this spring. They included speeches at some of the most well-known institutions in the nation. "But the future belongs to the dreamers, not to the critics", he said.

Back in D.C., the political storm from Trump's unexpected firing of FBI Director James Comey still raged on after Trump's own account of the firing clashed with the explanation given by his own aides and White House officials.

He steered clear of that subject, making only sidelong swipes at his critics.

"The fact is no one has ever achieved anything significant without a chorus of critics, standing on the sidelines, explaining why it can't be done, " Trump said.

"I do not believe that any president in our lifetimes has done so much that has benefited the Christian community in such a short time span than Donald Trump", [Falwell] said.

A Baptist school, Liberty University has an anti-LGBT reputation. He also praised Trump for protecting religious liberty, as demonstrated by the president's executive order on religion and his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. But, you know, in the midst of this otherwise kind of expansive and inspiring tone, he did say this.

"We are Liberty students who are disappointed with President Falwell's endorsement and are exhausted of being associated with one of the worst presidential candidates in American history", the group's statement read.

President Trump also imparted some conventional commencement speech rhetoric, such as embarking on an adventure and the like.

Lanora Hale came from Millville, N.J., to watch her son graduate with a master's degree. I know that each of you will be a warrior for the truth ...

Rogers was endorsed by the FBI Agents Association, which said his diverse background makes him the best choice for the job. Last spring, Liberty University board member Mark DeMoss criticized Falwell's endorsement in an interview with the Post, saying Trump didn't represent "the values that Liberty had spent 40 years trying to instill in its students".

Newly-minted elementary education graduate Rachel Kreisel of Boca Raton, Fla., agrees. I've been here, this is now my third time, and we love setting records, right? Vice President Mike Pence has been dispatched to speak at Notre Dame's graduation ceremony next Saturday.

The president went on to acknowledge the great faith base of Americans from coast to coast - emphasizing how their belief in God guides every aspect of the way they live their lives.

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