May 22, 2020
Trump Speech Transcript at ‘Rolling to Remember’ Ceremony Honoring Veterans
President Donald Trump spoke at a “Rolling to Remember” ceremony honoring veterans on May 22 before Memorial Day weekend. Read the full speech transcript here.
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President Donald Trump: (03:59)
Thank you very much. You’re my friends and you’ve been supporting me right from the beginning. I appreciate that you’re here. We’re here for you, and I told you when you want to come back with your 600,000, we’re ready to take you, but you’re going to give us a little display on those beautiful bikes. And you’re going to be… I’ve never seen anyone do that actually. You must have special privileges. I’ve never seen anybody ride through here. But I want to welcome you, and I want to welcome my friends. You’re the Rolling To Remember, and that’s what it is Rolling To Remember, and we will be commemorating Memorial Day, it’s a big thing, together.
President Donald Trump: (04:39)
Our nation pays a mortal tribute to the extraordinary courage, unflinching loyalty, and unselfish love, and supreme devotion of the American heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, and that’s what you’re here for. It’s the ultimate sacrifice, and it is indeed. They laid down their lives to ensure the survival of American freedom. Their names are etched forever into the hearts of our people and the memory of our nation, and some of you it’s been very close, very, very close. It’s very close to your heart. We’ll cherish them, and our gold star families, for all time. We take good care of them. They’re very special to us.
President Donald Trump: (05:17)
Justice will always remember the nearly 82,000 Americans missing in action. We’re joined today by Secretary Of Veterans Affairs, Robert Wilkie. Whereas Robert? Hi Robert. Great job you’re doing Robert. We got the Veterans Choice and Accountability Choices when they wait for two months to see a doctor, before they have to wait like a few hours, they go outside, they get themselves a good doctor, we pay the bill and they get taken care of. The stories were legendary. You don’t hear bad things about the VA anymore. You used to turn on every night, you’d see a horror show. So I want to thank you. You’ve done a fantastic job, Robert. What a great job.
President Donald Trump: (05:57)
Accountability also, VA accountability sounds easy, but when you have civil service, and you have unions, and you have all of this. For 40, 50 years, they’ve been trying to get rid of it. They don’t take our take care of our vets, we fire them. Before you couldn’t. They were sadists, they were thieves. And I think you’ve let go of more than 8,000 people, who were terrible. They’d been trying to fire him for years. They didn’t take care of our vets, just the opposite. They were horrible. Now they’re gone, we got them out. So that’s a big thing. So it’s Robert Wilkie. Thank you very much.
President Donald Trump: (06:31)
National commander of M-VETS, Jan Brown. Where is Jan? Jan, thank you very much. Good job. Good job you’ve done here. You got this very special group, they’re going to be doing a very special ride. I’m going to get to watch you, I hope. Right? Because sometimes I look at those bikes, they’re pretty tough. And actor Robert Patrick, who’s been in many films and television shows, I know that well. Most notably as T-1000 in Terminator Two. That’s not too bad. You’re looking good. You’re looking good Robert.
President Donald Trump: (07:06)
I want to especially recognize the legendary M-VETS riders who made the Rolling To Remember possible for 32 years, Rolling Thunder, my friends, carried out a ride of remembrance, and now we’re going to continue that onward. And the Rolling Thunder people were terrific already, and everybody, they really were. We had a good relationship with them. You know that, right? Sir, you’re going to say hello to [inaudible 00:07:29]. And I heard they were giving him a hard time a couple of years ago, and I said, “Nope, no hard time.” But people do get older. They get a little bit, he said, “I’m getting a little older.” So, but [inaudible 00:07:43] is terrific, and the whole group is terrific.
President Donald Trump: (07:45)
Thank you for keeping this noble tradition alive and for preserving the memory of those who are missing, but never forgotten, never forgotten. My administration will spare no effort or resources to support the men and the women who defend our nation. We’ve secured over $2.1 trillion in funding, to completely rebuild American military with, and think of that 2.1 trillion, 2.1. Not billion, it used to be million, and then about 10 years ago, you started hearing billion, and now you’re starting to hit trillion. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But it’s good when we’re spending $2.1 trillion in funding on our military, completely rebuild the military.
President Donald Trump: (08:31)
Our American military now has the greatest equipment, the finest equipment it’s ever had. It’s been entirely rebuilt. Some of the equipment is still coming, all made in America, everything. And when I came here, and you people knew it better than anybody, our military was depleted just like the shelves were empty from medical equipment, we didn’t have ventilators, we didn’t have testing, we didn’t have anything. And we have great testing, the best in the world. We have great ventilators. We’re making thousands and thousands of them, and we’re actually now so loaded with ventilators that we’re helping other countries, and therefore we’re saving lives also.
President Donald Trump: (09:09)
But our American military with the 281, that’s a lot of planes, F-35 fighter jets. The best in the world. 453 Abrams tanks, 14,400 tactical combat vehicles, two aircraft carriers, 36 additional battleships, and much more. All made in the USA. So importantly, we’re giving our service members the resources, tools, and equipment they need. We’re even getting brand new beautiful uniforms, it doesn’t sound like much, if I told you what it costs, it’s a lot for the army. The army has new uniforms, and they are gorgeous.
President Donald Trump: (09:48)
We passed the largest reform of the Department of Veterans Affairs in the, I think, in the history of the department, including VA Accountability. And I said, VA Choice, we’ve removed 8,500 VA workers who weren’t doing their job, who were taking advantage of our country and hurting our vets. The percentage of veterans reporting, they trust services. Think of that. They trust services. So they report and they say they trust services, has reached the highest in the history of the VA. Secretary, that’s a big statement. So the percentage of veterans reporting that they trust the VA and the VA services is now the highest in the history of this service. Satisfaction with the VA. Outpatient care has reached 89%, and we’re not going to rest until we have it in a hundred percent, Robert.
President Donald Trump: (10:44)
I also formed the PREVENTS, it’s called PREVENTS Taskforce. Well, you guys, how many are vets here? Big difference between now and the way it used to be, right? Big difference. I also formed the PREVENTS… Again, be careful when I asked that question, sometimes somebody can say, “Oh, we used to like it better.” That would not be good. That would go on the fake news immediately. That’s all they cover. So I have to be very careful, but thank you. I also formed the PREVENTS Taskforce to fight the tragedy of veteran suicide, which is an unbelievable tragedy. And we actually have medications that we’re working on, they have one from Johnson & Johnson, which is an inhaler and it’s been very effective. We’ve voted thousands of units of that, thousands and thousands. And we’re using it.
President Donald Trump: (11:36)
When the invisible enemy struck our country, my administration quickly secured VA medical facilities. We’re keeping the sacred covenant, we’re protecting those who sacrifice so much to protect us. I was very early, in fact, out of many, many people, I was the only one that wanted to do it. I guess I was the only one that mattered, but I kept China out of the United States. I put a ban on China in January. Then I took a lot of heat, Joe Biden said, “Oh, he’s xenophobic.” But a month later he said, I was right. As you know, Dr. Fauci, a good guy, he said, you don’t need to do that, and then later on, when he saw that I did it, and when we kept thousands, tens of thousands of people out, he said, “Donald Trump saved thousands of lives, tens of thousands of lives.” And we did.
President Donald Trump: (12:28)
So we did it very early, and that was very important, the ban on Chinese people, people from China coming in. Because I was seeing how badly infected the one area, Wuhan, was. So I put a ban on, and everybody thought… Nancy Pelosi a month later was in Chinatown, in San Francisco. She’s dancing in the streets of Chinatown trying to say, “It’s okay to come to the United States. It’s fine. It’s wonderful, come on in. Bring your infection with you.” And then she said, “He should have done it earlier.” About me. And she’s dancing a month later. These people are sick.
President Donald Trump: (13:04)
Anyway, last year I signed the National POW/MIA Flag Act, which requires that all federal buildings fly the POW/MIA flag in addition to the American flag in the months. And you see them all over Washington now. And they could be separate from the flag. You could do a separate placement or you could put it under the flag. And the month since that righteous flag has proudly flown over the White House, you’ve probably noticed it today. But that reminder is the work left, and we have work left, but we have to get it. We have to win the White House, otherwise a lot of the great things that we’ve done, we’re going to do great with our economy. We’re going to see… You’ll already see it starting to happen. We’re trying to get some governors, they’re not opening up, but they’ll be opening up pretty quickly.
President Donald Trump: (13:54)
Today I just spoke to CDC, we want our churches and our places of faith and worship, we want them to open. And CDC is going to be, I believe today, they’re going to be issuing a very strong recommendation, and I’m going to be talking about that in a little while. But they’re going to be opening up very soon. We want our churches to open, we want our places of faith, synagogues, we want them open and that’s going to start happening. I consider them essential, and that’s one of the things we’re saying, we’re going to make that essential. They have places essential that aren’t essential, and they open, and yet the churches aren’t allowed to open, and the synagogues. Again, places of faith, mosques, places of faith. So that’s going to see that. You’re going to see that.
President Donald Trump: (14:38)
I just want to say you’ve been tremendous supporters of mine. The bikers, I call them the bikers, the bikers, for whatever reason you liked me from the beginning, and I liked you from the beginning. And I remember went to Hilton Head, and I went to other places and it’d be thousands of bikes outside, and they were all in support. And they actually said, “No, we don’t have to, because there was no room.” We’ve never had an empty seat from the time I came down the escalator with our future First Lady. Who would’ve thought, right? Remember they were saying, “What’s he doing?” But there were a lot of people that thought we’d win, and we won. And we won pretty easily too. 306 to 223. That’s pretty easy.
President Donald Trump: (15:20)
We went through a primary, that was tough. And you were there with me. We went through an election, that was tough. And you were there with me. Always there, the bikers. I think, what do I have? 98%, 95. We’re trying to find who are the 3% or the 2%, we’re looking for them. We’re all looking for them, but I’ll never forget I made a speech in a place that was packed. You couldn’t get in. I said, “Fellas, I’ll do a second one.” They said, “No, no, we don’t have to hear. We know what you’re about. We know where you’re coming from, sir. We’re here to protect you. We’re not here to listen. We’re here to protect you.” I never forgot it. I never felt so safe. And there were a lot of rough guys in that little group of about a thousand bikes, by the way, maybe more than that. A lot of rough people, but I tell you to me, they were beautiful people. But I never forgot that, “We’re not here to hear your speech, we’re here to protect you.” And I thought it was an incredible thing.
President Donald Trump: (16:11)
So you’ve been my friends, I want to thank you very much for it. Get those engines started. I want to see you guys drive around and drive as fast as you can, but don’t get hurt.
Speaker 2: (18:15)
We appreciate you all tuning in. We are still looking live here at the front lawn of the White House for this Rolling To Remember ceremony, President Trump honoring veterans today. We’ll be back at 1:00 PM Eastern time for the White House press briefing with Kayleigh McEnany the Press Secretary, so don’t forget to tune in for that. And then tonight at 8:00 PM, Eastern, we’ll have Team Trump online. Tonight is Army For Trump Boot Camp with Erin Perrine, beginning at 8:00 PM, Eastern. Again, we carry Trump campaign programming every night, and we are hopeful that the rallies will resume soon. If you heard President Trump yesterday, we are anticipating rallies beginning, hopefully, next month in Battleground States. So we’ll have to see, but we are cautiously optimistic. So I appreciate everybody tuning in today. Enjoy your afternoon, and we’ll see you back at 1:00 PM, Eastern. Sorry folks, we have to wait until the copyright music is over. We are not allowed to play this.
President Donald Trump: (20:31)
Sue, Robert and Jan, and every one of you say hello to everybody. November 3rd is a big day, we don’t want to destroy this country. We’re going to make it bigger, better, greater than ever before. You’re going to see it happening very soon. We’re coming into the third quarter, that’s transitioned to greatness, third quarter transition. Get out there, work, November 3rd is the big day. Get all those cycles going there, but we appreciate you being here. Go have some fun, and we love you all. Thank you very much. And thank you. Thank you very much. Thanks. Thank you.