While the "opposition party" in the media have reported on President Trump's appearance at the FBI National Academy graduation Friday, most of those reports, including carefully edited video from the event, leave out something that marked many moments from the speech: the graduates' enthusiastic response to Trump's comments, including his comments on merit-based immigration, criticism of Democrat-run cities, and his call for a stronger, better-armed police force.
NBC News' snarky headline clearly tries to portray the event in a negative light, blaring "Trump praises police after blasting 'sad,' 'disgraceful' FBI." While NBC's report admits a couple of times that the graduates laughed and applauded, it clearly tries to present many of Trump's comments, particularly on immigration, as extreme rather than highlighting that his audience appeared to agree with him.
Trump delivered the speech just after 10:30 a.m. at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. The president was greeted with strong applause and immediately got the group laughing. Trump's first comment, which has made its way into a few reports while the response was ignored or downplayed, was his declaration that he's a "true friend and loyal champion" of police.
"I am here not only to congratulate you, but to honor you for your courage and for your devotion," said Trump. "And I want you to know that with me as your President, America’s police will have a true friend and loyal champion in the White House — more loyal than anyone else can be, I tell you."
The grads applauded the line, Trump responding, "Thank you. Thank you." NBC News' clip of the statement cuts off quickly after the applause starts.
After praising at length officers and their families for sacrificing to protect Americans, Trump slammed Democrat-controlled, crime-ridden Chicago, Obama's hometown. The audience ate it up.
"And you look at what’s going on in Chicago. What the hell is going on in Chicago?" said Trump amid laughter. "What the hell is happening there?" The laughter turned into applause. "For the second year in a row, a person was shot in Chicago every three hours. You don’t think these people in this room can stop that? They’d stop that."
Trump then singled out Democrat-controlled Baltimore, which is suffering an alarming surge in murders.
"And just north of our nation’s capital, in Baltimore, on average, someone was murdered nearly every day of this year," said Trump. "Police departments are overstretched, they’re underfunded, and they’re totally underappreciated — except by me." The grads applauded that line as well.
"I want to send a message today to those who threaten violence against our police: We will protect those who protect us. And we believe criminals who kill police officers should get the death penalty," said the president, another line met with strong applause.
The president then worked in a dig on President Obama while also championing something the Left loathes: arming the police more heavily.
"[W]e are allowing our local police to access surplus military equipment — something the previous administration, for some reason, refused to do," said Trump, a statement the grads cheered and then laughed about when Trump added a few sarcastic quips.
But of all the comments enthusiastically received by the grads that surely got under the skin of his critics on the Left were Trump's remarks on the "dysfunctional immigration system," in which he slammed the ideas of chain migration and the visa lottery, both of which resulted in terrorist attacks, and called for merit-based immigration policies. Here's the transcript (via WhiteHouse.gov):
As President, my greatest duty is to protect our nation and to protect our people. As we have witnessed recently, America faces grave threats. Terrorists have struck in the streets and subways of New York City twice in a few months. Both terrorists came to our country through the dysfunctional immigration system that we are correcting, and rapidly. And one came through chain migration — chain migration; the other, visa lottery.
They have a lottery. You pick people. Do you think the country is giving us their best people? No. (Laughter.) What kind of a system is that? They come in by lottery. They give us their worst people, they put them in a bin, but in his hand, when he’s picking them is, really, the worst of the worst. Congratulations, you’re going to the United States. Okay. (Laughter.) What a system — lottery system.
We’re calling for Congress to end chain migration and to end the visa lottery system, and replace it with a merit-based system of immigration. (Applause.) We want a system that puts the needs of American families, taxpayers, and security first.
NBC covered the moment not by simply reporting the facts, but by claiming Trump "painted an inaccurate picture," then fact-checking his obviously non-literal remark about putting names "in a bin" and picking the "worst people" to send. "Actually, visa lottery applicants must meet eligibility requirements to enter the program, and applicants are vetted through strict State Department processes," NBC asserted.