President Trump Remarks at AMVETS Convention in Louisville KY CSPAN August 21, 2019 2:35pm-3:18pm EDT
sessions on a particular topic. you heard the one member of congress who was focused on climate change. it is a great opportunity and this is where members of congress recharge. this is what they like doing. they would rather be in their districts talking with constituents than talking to their colleagues in washington. only time theyhe get prime time with their constituency? >> we will leave this "washington journal" segments here to take you live to legal, kentucky, the remarks from president trump -- to louisville, kentucky, to remarks from president trump this afternoon. [cheers & applause] the greenwood's "god bless the usa" playing ♪]
pres. trump: thank you. america's toughest, loudest patriots, the incredible veterans of amvets. we love our veterans. amvets. thank you very much. you are special people. you fought courageously for our country, and now my administration is fighting courageously for you. that is for sure. haveou know we accomplished a lot, we have done a lot, and one of the things we have done is you get that medical care quickly now when you go into those doctors, and you used to have to wait for weeks and weeks and weeks, and you do not wait anymore. you go out and see a private doctor, we pay the bill, and people are really happy about it. the vets are very happy about this.
veteran's choice, you have been trying to get that for 44 years, they say, 44 years. probably earlier than that, but at least 44 years that we know of, and you got it, so congratulations. hopefully you do not have to use it too often, because you are going to feel great, ok? every veteran here today across our land, thank you for your noble an incredible service. it is an honor, really, my life. i understand i am the first commander in chief, first president to address you and be here. [cheers & applause] pres. trump: that is something that is very special. and it is also an honor to be the commander-in-chief of the greatest fighting force the world has ever known, the united states military, and it is stronger today, and it is a lot stronger today that it was two and a half years ago, i can tell you that.
a lot stronger. a lot stronger. spent, and then $716 billion, that is with a b, and this year, it is $738 billion. so we rebuilt the military, and it is stronger than ever before, and that was really needed. it was depleted, and was tired, it was exhausted, and you know that better than i do. we have totally rebuilt entered i want to thank your outstanding national commander as well as your terrific executive director, joe shoulschenely. where is joe? thank you, joe. that is not a very good seat for you, joe. you want to give other people the better seats. i like that type of person. thank you, joe. it is my privilege to
recognize your first national commander, retired air force janor master sergeant brown. [cheers & applause] pres. trump: thank you, jan. congratulations as well to this year's recipient of the silver especially a dear friend who was an inspiration to all americans, veteran, ii and medal of honor recipient woody williams. thank you, woody. woody. looking good, woody is looking good. [cheers & applause] pres. trump: that was a big day, the medal of honor. but they said you do not qualify. can i give it to myself anyway? [laughter] pres. trump: i do not think that is a good idea. great people.
great men and women who get the congressional medal of honor. thank you, woody. we are unbelievably thankful to of the men and women of amvets and ladies and ciliary. they have worked -- ladies auxiliary. they have worked so hard, the amvets,amvets, junior and the legendary amvets writers who are fighting to keep alive the spirit of rolling thunder. i love that noise some of rolling thunder. wow. we are taking care of rolling thunder since i have been there. please stand up. you have so many wonderful people. thank you. and the leaders are all here. thank you. and we will see you in a little while in washington. and to honor the prisoners of war and those missing in action, today we renew our vow that america will never, ever forget. [applause]
pres. trump: thank you. is great to be joined by a number of champions for veterans, including secretary of education betsy devos. betsy? betsy, doing a great job. deputy v.a. secretary james burns. james, thank you. great job. a man who has really done a great job, i do not know if the is always appreciated, that he has done an incredible job, and your state is doing phenomenal business, and i want to take all of the credit, but i can't, because he has done a lot, to o, because he has been a truly great governor, matt bevin. thank you, matt. kentucky has had record numbers
some of the best they've ever had in any category. it is a really incredible thing. and amanda just watched on television, he is so good. congressmen thomas matthews, where is thomas? good job. friendssay hello to our back in washington. that was a good job. i just watched you. i cannot come to kentucky without also praising the exceptional work of senator mitch mcconnell. [laughter] pres. trump: i have to tell you, this guy is a true fighter for our veterans and for kentucky. he has worked tirelessly to enact massive tax cuts, record defense spending, and that crucial be a reform that i was just talking about. and i have to think about all the things with respect to mitch, mitch is a good person, has let his leadership in the senate, we confirmed, think of , almost 150 federal judges to
hold our nation's beloved constitution and the foundation of american freedom, and mitch and i have worked very hard. we're up to 150. within two months, we will be at 179 federal judges and two supreme court judges. [applause] your trump: and it is senator, and for him, that is a passion like i have never seen before. there is nothing more important. when i became president, they said the most important thing you can do is judges, and they said supreme court justices, and as you know, we have named two supreme court justices, justice kavanagh, justice gorsuch. i want to congratulate mitch mcconnell, and you have him come and he is a champion, and he fights hard. he really is something special, and he loves your state. i will be campaigning for mitch, and i will be campaigning for
matt, and we are going to get them both back in. i just have to say, because mitch has been somebody very special, and matt knows that as well. this year, we commemorated the 75th anniversary of d-day, june 6, 1944, when thousands of american patriots stormed the beaches of normandy and went through the fires of hell to ensure the survival of liberty. this year also marks the 75th anniversary of the organization that took care of those victorious veterans when they returned and every generation of veterans since. incredible job. whoy we celebrate amvets, are 75 years of love and loyalty and lifelong service to our military personnel, to our veterans, and to their families. congratulations. thank you very much. [applause] pres. trump: thank you. across the nation
has become pillars of pride in our community. so true. and shining symbols of the enduring power of the american spirit. your support of our troops theyeas, welcome them when come back home, and you welcomed them, and you are there for them in every way, medically, physically, morally, you are with them all the way, and they appreciate it much more than you would even know. you safeguard our values, pass on our traditions, and teach generation after generation to love our country, honor our heroes, and always respect our great american flag. [applause] pres. trump: we gather today at a truly incredible time for our nation. -- we arere wakening reawakening american pride and american greatness. we are america first. [applause] pres. trump: it is about time,
too. it is about time, wouldn't you say? american first. you did not used to hear that, right? you did not used to hear it at all. you hear a lot now. i don't think you will. not this group. not too many people in this country will feel that way. we are respected again as a nation. we are respected again. we are restoring the fundamental principles of government and first obligation, the highest loyalty is to our citizens. the loyal to our citizens really is the first obligation. no longer will we sacrifice america's interest to any foreign power. in all things, we are putting our country first. we are saying, let's say "make america great again," but we are almost there, "make america great again."
we may have to switch it. you know what we're going to switch it to? huh? yeah? that is right. i will not say it to you, because this is not a campaign speech. [laughter] [cheers & applause] pres. trump: i will not say "keep america great," but we are going to keep america great. [cheers & applause] there is a lot of press back there. look at them. that's a lot of cameras going. look at all the red lights down there. the red light means you are on. when the lights are off, people get a little sleepy back here. [laughter] nowhere is: no this patriotic symbol more important than a duty to the american warrior in the american veterans. we are holding our nation's
solemn pledge to protect those who protect us, and they have protected us brilliantly. with america's glory guiding us as we do, we are making unprecedented strides. our american were yourself pulverize the bloodthirsty killers of isis. we defeated 100% of the caliphate in syria. we are holding thousands of isis fighters right now, prisoners, and we are going to remove them europe,where they came, certain countries in europe, we have got to take them back, because we do not want to hold them. we are going to give them back. they have got to take them. they let us hold them for 50 years. we don't want them. they should take the. do we agree? they should take them? [applause] pres. trump: they say to us, why
don't you hold them in guantanamo bay for 50 years? dollarspent billions of taking them. we fought here they are captured, thousands, but now europe has to take them and different countries where they came from have to take them. do we agree with that? [applause] pres. trump: i am just curious as to what you thought. we withdrew from the horrible iran nuclear deal, horrible deal. [applause] pres. trump: we brought home the remains of our fallen north korean war heroes. we brought them home, so many of them. many more are coming. so they can rest alongside their brothers and sisters in american soil. our responsibility to ensure no one is left behind, right? [applause] pres. trump: we are rebuilding the awesome might of the united states military, whether it is
big budgets, like i just described, and think of it -- thank you, thank you very much, i appreciate it -- and we are very proud of it. very proud of it. those in the military are proud, too. beautiful new, the best equipment in the world, we make the best planes, we make the best ships, we make the best everything. and it also, in this case, secondarily, it also happens to be made in the usa, each of a, and it has brought jobs, jobs, jobs. that is secondary -- [applause] pres. trump: and the army will very soon have three powerful new m-1 tanks. the navy is deploying the most advanced class of aircraft carriers in history with hundreds of new f-35's and f-18's, america will continue to
own the skies wherever we fly. we have the greatest air force. [applause] pres. trump: and we are preparing to dominate the latest war fighting domain by extending a six branch of the armed forces, it is called the space force. we need that. the space force. it is moving along through approval, and it has become very popular. people see it now more than they did two and a half years ago. they see it now and how important it is for defense and offense and so forth. we delivered the largest pay raise for every sailor, airman, coast guardsmen, and maria, one of the largest increases -- and marine, one of the largest increases. our active-duty personnel are the best equipped, best trained, most technologically advanced fighting force in the history of the world. the best equipment in the world,
best training in the world. america is a peaceloving nation. seekek friendship, we harmony, not conflict and division, but if we are threatened, we will never hesitate to defend our people, as they should be defended. [cheers & applause] and if our enemies should dare to fight us, they will be crushed with overwhelming american might, no adversary stands a chance against the awesome power of the red, white, and blue. there is no military even close to ours. you read all sorts of things, "well, maybe this country, maybe that" -- it is only propaganda put out by different areas in different countries. there is nothing else close command they tell me that. there is nobody close. and we have to keep it that way. and we don't want to use it, but we have to have it just in case,
right? the members of our armed forces, and you understand that very well, the members of our armed forces have always lived by the word of douglas macarthur, "in war, there is no substitute for victory." we have an armed forces that is to achieved, and victory, there is no substitute for the unmatched character and courage of those who probably where the nation's uniform. and we even have different uniforms. did you see some of the different designs of the uniforms? we are going back to a style and a look that nobody thought we would go back to, because of expense, and now we have brand-new, the most beautiful uniforms you have ever seen. but much more importantly are the people who wear that uniform, what is inside that uniform -- that is much more important. [applause] pres. trump: the best in the world. every warrior who served has p
oured out their hearts and souls for america. we believe their government must show them the same devotion, and we have been doing that. for the last two and a half years, we have. can you believe it is almost three years now? i have been saying "two and a half years now" for a number of months, and we wil are getting close to three.i will have to change it to three very soon . after years of neglect, we are fixing the heartbreaking values from the last administration at the department of veterans affairs. america must never abandon our heroes in their hour of need. we will never do that. , i probably sound signed into law the v.a. accountability act. proudly signed into law the v.a. accountability act. for years, they could not get it
done, and i will not blame unions can i won't blame civil servants, i will not blame any of it, but, man, was their power against it. and we got it done. people mistreat people in the v.a., and we know what happens, right? it is called "you are fired." stand up, please. stand up. there is a man that implements it. you are fired. get out of here. you could not fire anyone for virtually any reason. so we have the accountability act, and we have removed more than 7600 -- they had employees thefauled to give our vets care they so richly deserve. think about it. they were treating some of them -- most of them are fantastic, but some of them were treating our people, our brave heroes so
badly, sadistic, terrible people. they were terrible people, and they are gone. they are fired. 7600. i did not yo know you are that vicious to get rid of so many. 7600 out. that was a big deal. that was a hard one to get. and as i said, something i guess i am most proud of because, i don't know, accountability was very important. some people think it was as important, maybe not, but most significantly, the v.a. reforms, we did the veterans' choice. i do not know which was more difficult. they were pretty much equal. but since i took office, nearly 3 million veterans have been able to choose a private doctor in their own community. and have you ever seen -- and this is a great tribute to the , the peoplee v.a.
and the leadership of the v.a. i don't hear these horror stories. growing up, i would see "v.a., v.a., v.a." i don't know -- [laughter] pres. trump: i am not hearing bad stories, i am hearing all good stories, but the fake news, they will go find somebody in the system. they will find somebody. they will find somebody in this giant medical system, the largest system in the world, by far. they are going to find somebody that was not treated perfectly, and he will be on the top of the news tonight. "we have breaking news." [laughter] pres. trump: we have also slashed wait times at the v.a. by more than 35%. that is a great thing. and the care is better. more importantly, the care is even better.
a recent study published in the journal of american medical association found that wait times are now shorter for primary care at the v.a. than at private sector doctors and hospitals. how about that? good job. say hello to our friend. tell him he is doing a great job. what a job all of you have done. to improve the efficiency of the v8, i signed [applause] we are modernizing your medical records to begin a seamless transition from the department of defense into the the a. something they said they couldn't do. they said, we can't do it. it's too complicated.
we did it. the v.a. has cut opioid prescriptions by 30% over the last 2.5 years. [applause] we are committed to defeating the opioid epidemic in america. i have instructed all of our people to give so many grants to lots of geniuses all over the country. i said, find a painkiller that is nonaddictive. when younkiller that break your arm and go to the hospital, you don't come out of the hospital at it did to opioids -- addicted to opioids. get a painkiller that is nonaddictive. we are closer than you think. our veterans are seeing dramatic improvements in the quality of care across the board. trust increased
at 92% of the a medical centers. -- va medical centers. we will not rest until we reach 100%. we will get there. [applause] pres. trump: probably there already. no issue facing our veterans is more urgent than ending the national crisis of veteran suicide. [applause] pres. trump: my administration is determined to save the lives of our heroes. if you think about what's going drug that cameew out. i know you are dealing very strongly with johnson & johnson. they should make a contribution to the united states of america. they have something that really anxiety,t horrible
whatever causes somebody to be so desperate to commit suicide. you take it. it's an inhaler. its results are incredible. i don't know, long-term. an incredible effect on a lot of people. i've instructed the top officials to go out and get as much of it as you can from johnson & johnson. i think -- they have done so well. they have made so much money. i think they should give it to us for free. [applause] pres. trump: give it a shot. give it a shot. it's incredible, actually. it does something pretty amazing. it's due. it's been approved. it has been fully approved. it has gone through a long process. we think that is going to have a great impact. we have secured a record $8.6
billion for mental services. [applause] pres. trump: it's a record. we opened the white house v.a. hotline to ensure no claim ever again falls through the cracks. a lot of claims were having a lot of problems, going on for years. is now providing same-day emergency mental health care and mental health screenings to every patient that walks through the door. it's incredible. the difference between now and three years ago. it will require government and society at all levels working together. we have to work together with a lot of different groups and people. a lot of progress is being made. things are happening. we must build communities that serve, support, and protect our veterans from the very first moment they returned to civilian life. it's an incredible adjustment. that's exactly what we aim to achieve with the prevents initiative.
it's a task force created earlier this year to unify the efforts of government, business, and nonprofit groups. we want to build on proven -- you know what it is. it's an amazing partnership with the v.a. that has served over 600 families in crisis in the last year without a single life lost. not one. [applause] to every veteran facing the struggle, i want you to know that you are not alone. we are with you. you are not forgotten. we are with you all the way. you are not beaten. you will overcome. you will prevail. you will triumph. you will thrive. you will thrive. a lot of progress has been made. so many different things we're making progress in.
millions of americans are right by your side. we are with you every single step of the way. americans is someone that you know very well. jim pigeon, a navy veteran and former national commander. where's jim? [applause] pres. trump:, anna p or, jim. -- come on up here, jim. for the past 1257 consecutive days, jim has challenged doingans to join him in 22 push-ups. don't challenge me. don't make me do that. [laughter] [applause] pres. trump: representing the number of doing 22 push-ups. veterans -- that's the number of suicides per day. can you believe? i said, this can't be possible. you would think a year. a month. a day. nobody believes it.
thousands of patriots have joined him in raising awareness. together, they are summoning the national will to act. jim, say a few words. [applause] jim: thank you. honor to be here. i would not be able to do this without the support and love and prayers of my beautiful wife paulette. [applause] pres. trump: strong arms. it's like a piece of steel. thank you, jim. no one deserves the blessings of freedom more than the heroes who risk their lives to defend it. my administration is worked aggressively to boost veteran employment and we are setting records. since my election, we have reduced the number of unemployed veterans by 37%.
that's pretty good. [applause] pres. trump: veterans unemployment has reached the lowest level ever recorded. [applause] same thing with african-american unemployment. same thing with asian unemployment. same thing with hispanic unemployment. same thing with many other groups. to every employer in america, if you are looking for a worker, of unrivaled skill, integrity, devotion, all you have to do is hire a veteran. they are doing it. [applause] pres. trump: i have a friend who has been doing it lately. he said, why didn't i do this 25 years ago? i said, that's your problem. these very happy.
every service member has the right to return to civilian life with dignity and security. this, we have helpedve 30,000 veterans find permanent housing over the last two years. [applause] pres. trump: we have also expanded the g.i. bill so that veterans can use their benefits to get an education at any point in their lifetime. a crucial reform to expand opportunity to veterans in every stage of their career. that's a big thing. [applause] i'm proud to announce that i am taking executive action to ensure that our wounded warriors are not saddled with mountains of student debt. in a few moments, i will sign a memorandum directing the department of education to eliminate every penny of federal student loan debt owed by american veterans who are completely and permanently disabled. [applause]
pres. trump: incredible. nobody can complain about that. nobody can complain about that. the debt of these disabled veterans will be entirely erased. it will be gone. [applause] they will sleep well tonight. altogether, this action will wipe out an average of $30,000 in debt owed by more than 25,000 eligible veterans who have made immense sacrifices. the ultimate sacrifice, in many ways. they have made a sacrifice that is so great and are such incredible people. they never complain.
they never complain. that's hundreds of millions of dollars in student debt held by our severely wounded warriors. it is gone forever. [applause] pres. trump: i want to thank secretary devos for her leadership in making veterans debt forgiveness a top priority for the department of education. betsy, thank you very much. stand up. [applause] nos. trump: there will be federal income tax on the forgiven debt. that is big stuff. [applause] pres. trump: it's all past. all we have to do is sign it which we will do it that beautiful desk. ok? [applause] i'm also calling upon all 50 states to immediately waive all applicable state taxes as well.
they will hopefully be going away very quickly. most of the states have are ready agreed to do this. theing us today is one of many american heroes who will benefit from this action. castle, she served in three different branches of the armed forces. army, navy, air force. you will have to tell me which is the best, please. [applause] pres. trump: i want to know which is the best. [laughter] pres. trump: which is the best? don't say. she may say it now and i'll be in big trouble. please say a few words -- say a few words. catherine: thank you. this is an amazing relief on my family. many thousands of veterans as well. thank you. [applause] pres. trump: thank you very much. after two terms in iraq, catherine developed multiple sub
-- serious health conditions related to her service. including significant lung problems. catherine is now pursuing a degree at the university of nevada. we are really profoundly grateful for your service and your immense sacrifice. it's great to have gotten to know you. everybody in this room is very proud of you. thank you very much. [applause] pres. trump: veterans like catherine who have made such enormous sacrifices for our country should not be asked to pay anymore. it is america hello's are heroes a supreme debt. that's the way we feel. [applause] oceans,ump: across jungles, mountains, deserts, battlefields, enemy camps, our veterans fought and bled to vanquish our enemies and
preserve america's birthright of freedom. our country, liberty, families homes, families, everything that matters and everyone we hope here. -- hold dear. god andby the grace of the myrtle courage of those who serve. the story of the american veteran -- the american warrior -- that's what they are. it's the story of the american nation. you have written our history, shaped our identity, forged our destiny, marched us to glory. and always planted the righteous flag of american victory. [applause] pres. trump: you have filled our enemies with dread. you have filled our friends with hope. you have filled our american heart with fears patriotic pride. because of you, america is safe.
because of you, america is strong. because of you, america is free. you, america will forever remain the bravest, mightiest, and greatest nation on the face of the earth. thank you. [applause] thank you.: because of you. because of you. leadersnow like to ask to come forward. secretary devos. please come forward. deputy secretary birth. governor bevin. sergeant catherine castle. sergeant next ethnic. -- nick steffen at. this will facilitate the cancellation of student loan debt for 25,000 of our most severely disabled veterans. [applause]
>> ♪ you can't always get what you want ♪ president trump speaking at the american veterans national convention in louisville, kentucky. watch his remarks against tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span.org,ne at and listen with the free c-span radio app. c-span's live coverage of campaign 2020 continues this week. p.m., jayy at 6:30
inslee, john delaney, and tim ryan, live from new hampshire. friday at 6:00, pete buttigieg with a live town hall from new hampshire. watch campaign 2010 eight -- 2020 coverage anytime on c-span.org. sunday night on q&a, theoretical physicist michio cocco talks about our destiny beyond earth and achieving digital immortality. >> digital immortality takes everything known about you on the internet, your digital footprint, your credit card records, what movies you see, what wines you like to buy, your videos, your pictures, and creates a profile that is digitized which will last forever.