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Trump urges Liberty U grads to stand up to criticism

Trump urges Liberty U grads to stand up to criticism”

Donald Trump thanked conservative Christians for their votes, and promised to protect their values in his first commencement address as president, at evangelical stronghold Liberty University.

"In my short time in Washington, I've seen first-hand how the system is broken", Trump told graduates at Liberty University, an evangelical school, in Virginia where he was felicitated with an honorary law degree.

In his 22-minute speech, Trump did not mention his firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey four days ago amid a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. That day he dismissed the head of the agency that is investigating Russia's role in the 2016 election and possible ties to Trump's campaign. At another, he told students and parents at the conservative religious school that "nothing is easier or more pathetic than being a critic".

He says outsiders "change the world and make a real and lasting difference".

Trump, who has been preparing for his first foreign trip to the Middle East and Europe late next week, also will deliver the commencement address to the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, on Wednesday.

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An early endorser, Falwell continues to be Trump's faithful adviser and ally, and much of Liberty reflects his enthusiasm.

President Donald Trump is offering simple words of advice to university graduates: Follow your convictions, prepare to face criticism, and relish the opportunity to be an "outsider".

Mr Trump called leaders in Washington "a small group of failed voices.think they know everything and understand everyone".

'He restored the free speech rights of non-profits, of churches, of universities like the one that I head, ' he said.

Observing that he wants every young citizen - regardless of education or geography - to be able to live "his/her American Dreams", he said his administration was there to help create the jobs and future they deserve.

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President Trump has spoken at Liberty University before. More than 50,000 people attended today's ceremony, breaking Liberty's previous record of 38,000; it is only the second time a sitting president has given the school's graduation speech.

"As long as I am your president, no one is ever going to stop you from practicing your faith", Trump told graduates, adding that "in America we don't worship government, we worship God". Trump mentioned none of this in his speech, instead boasting of his accomplishments and congratulating graduates on their "totally brilliant future".

The address marked Trump's third appearance at Liberty, which bills itself as the world's largest Christian university. Most of the potential nominees are "well known", the president said on Air Force One as he prepared to travel from Washington for the commencement speech.

"My goal is to not only make sure that it's a great program and great event but that our graduates and our guests have a great experience when they come to the stadium as well", Baker said, noting that there will be food trucks, a bathroom trailer, and even a wireless signal-booster to accommodate early birds during the hours they will spend waiting for the event to commence.

Presidents Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush did so during their first year in office.

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