President Trump became the first sitting president to deliver a speech at the Value Voters Summit in Washington DC. The Summit will be a gathering of faith-based leaders as well as also political voices coming from within the faith-based community.
President Trump had spoken at the Summit twice before, including his attendance as the 2016 Republican presidential nominee. His address today at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in DC was his third at the Summit as well as also the first for a sitting president.
[Transcript] 10:22 A.M. EDT – THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Tony. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. You know, I’ve been here before. (Laughter.) You do know of which. Before the big day on November 8th, I was here. I want to thank Mark Meadows as well as also all of the folks of which have actually made This particular possible. as well as also, Tony, tremendous guy.
We have some incredible people of which we love as well as also of which we’re involved with. So we all know of which. as well as also I’m being followed by Mr. Bennett — you know of which, right? as well as also I’ve been watching him say nice things about me before I knew him. Those are the ones I like — (laughter) — where they speak well of you before you know them. Right?
although I actually want to thank everybody, as well as also, Tony, for your extraordinary leadership of This particular organization. as well as also I want to thank, also, Lawana, for your dedication to the faith community as well as also to our nation. Work so hard.
the idea’s great to be back here with so many friends at the 2017 Values Voter Summit, as well as also we know what of which means. (Applause.) We know what of which means. America will be a nation of believers, as well as also together we are strengthened as well as also sustained by the power of prayer. (Applause.)
As we gather due to This particular tremendous event, our hearts remain sad as well as also heavy for the victims of the horrific mass murder last week in Las Vegas. the idea was an act of pure evil.
although inside the wake of such horror, we also witnessed the true character of our nation. A mother laid on top of her daughter to shield her coming from gunfire. A husband died to protect his beloved wife. Strangers rescued strangers, police officers — as well as also you saw of which, all of those incredible police officers, how brave they were, how great they were running into fire. (Applause.) as well as also first responders, they rushed right into danger.
Americans defied evil as well as also hatred with courage as well as also love.
The men as well as also women who risked their lives to save their fellow citizens gave proof to the words of This particular scripture: “The light shines inside the darkness, as well as also the darkness has not overcome the idea.” (Applause)
All of America will be praying for the wounded as well as also the grieving, as well as also we will be with them today as well as also we will be with them forever. (Applause.) Just want to finish by saying of which — actually, as well as also we understand the idea was so horrific to watch as well as also so terrible — although to those who lost the ones they love: We know of which we cannot erase your pain, although we promise to never, ever leave your side. We are one nation, as well as also we all hurt together, we wish together, as well as also we heal together. (Applause.)
We also stand with the millions of people who have suffered coming from the massive fires, which are right today raging in California, as well as also the catastrophic hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands. as well as also I will tell you, I left Texas, as well as also I left Florida, as well as also I left Louisiana, as well as also I went to Puerto Rico, as well as also I met with the president [governor] of the Virgin Islands.
These are people of which are incredible people. They’ve suffered gravely, as well as also we’ll be there. We’re going to be there. We have, actually — the idea’s not even a question of a choice. We don’t even want a choice. We’re going to be there as Americans, as well as also we love those people as well as also what they’ve gone through. as well as also they’re all healing, as well as also their states as well as also territories are healing, as well as also they’re healing rapidly.
inside the wake of the terrible tragedies of the past several weeks, the American people have responded with goodness as well as also generosity, as well as also bravery. You’ve seen the idea. The heroism of everyday citizens reminds us of which the true strength of our nation will be found inside the hearts as well as also souls of our people.
When America will be unified, no force on Earth can break us apart. (Applause.) We love our families. We love our neighbors. We love our country. Everyone here today will be brought together by the same shared as well as also timeless values. We cherish the sacred dignity of every human life. (Applause.)
We believe in strong families as well as also safe communities. We honor the dignity of work. (Applause.) We defend our Constitution. We protect religious liberty. (Applause.) We treasure our freedom. We are proud of our history. We support the rule of law as well as also the incredible men as well as also women of law enforcement. (Applause.) We celebrate our heroes, as well as also we salute every American who wears the uniform. (Applause.)
We respect our great American flag. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
as well as also we stand united behind the customs, beliefs as well as also traditions of which define who we are as a nation as well as also as a people.
George Washington said of which “religion as well as also morality are indispensable” to America’s happiness, actually, prosperity as well as also totally to its success. the idea will be our faith as well as also our values of which inspires us to give with charity, to act with courage, as well as also to sacrifice for what we know will be right.
The American Founders invoked our Creator four times inside the Declaration of Independence — four times. (Applause.) How times have changed. although you know what, today they’re changing back again. Just remember of which. (Applause.)
Benjamin Franklin reminded his colleagues at the Constitutional Convention to begin by bowing their heads in prayer.
Religious liberty will be enshrined inside the very first amendment of the Bill of Rights. as well as also we all pledge allegiance to — very, very beautifully — “one nation under God.” (Applause.)
This particular will be America’s heritage, a country of which never forgets of which we are all — all, every one of us — made by the same God in Heaven. (Applause.)
When I came to speak with you last year, I made you a promise. Well, one of the promises I made you was of which I’d come back. See? (Applause.) as well as also I don’t even need your vote This particular year, right? of which’s even nicer. (Laughter.)
although I pledged of which, in a Trump administration, our nation’s religious heritage could be cherished, protected, as well as also defended like you have never seen before. of which’s what’s happening. of which’s what’s happening. You see the idea every day. You’re reading the idea.
So This particular morning I am honored as well as also thrilled to return as the first sitting President to address This particular incredible gathering of friends — so many friends. (Applause.) So many friends. as well as also I’ll ask Tony as well as also all our people of which do such a great job in putting This particular event together — can I take next year off or not? (Laughter.) Or do I have to be back? I don’t know.
THE PRESIDENT: He’s saying — they’re saying no. Lawana will be saying no. of which’s means no. (Laughter.)
So I’m here to thank you for your support as well as also to share with you how we are delivering on of which promise, defending our shared values, as well as also in so doing, how we are renewing the America we love.
inside the last 10 months, we have followed through on one promise after another. (Applause.) I didn’t have a schedule, although if I did have a schedule, I could say we are substantially ahead of schedule. (Applause.)
Some of those promises are to support as well as also defend the Constitution. I appointed as well as also confirmed a Supreme Court Justice inside the mold of the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia, the newest member of the Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch. (Applause.)
To protect the unborn, I have reinstated a policy first put in place by President Ronald Reagan, the Mexico City Policy. (Applause.) To protect religious liberty, including protecting groups like This particular one, I signed a fresh executive action in a beautiful ceremony at the White House on our National Day of Prayer — (applause) — which day we made official. (Applause.)
Among many historic steps, the executive order followed through on one of my most important campaign promises to so many of you: to prevent the horrendous Johnson Amendment coming from interfering with your First Amendment rights. (Applause.) Thank you. We will not allow government workers to censor sermons or target our pastors or our ministers or rabbis. These are the people we want to hear coming from, as well as also they’re not going to be silenced any longer. (Applause.)
Just last week, based on This particular executive action, the Department of Justice issued a fresh guidance to all federal agencies to ensure of which no religious group will be ever targeted under my administration. the idea won’t happen. (Applause.)
We have also taken action to protect the conscience rights of groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor. You know what they went through. (Applause.) What they went through — they were going through hell. as well as also then all of the sudden they won. They said, how did of which happen? (Laughter.)
We want to actually point out of which the Little Sisters of the Poor as well as also various other people of faith, they live by a beautiful calling, as well as also we will not let bureaucrats take away of which calling or take away their rights. (Applause.)
We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you very much. as well as also something I’ve said so much during the last two years, although I’ll say the idea again as we approach the end of the year. You know, we’re getting near of which beautiful Christmas season of which people don’t talk about anymore. (Laughter.) They don’t use the word “Christmas” because the idea’s not politically correct. You go to department stores, as well as also they’ll say, “Happy fresh Year” as well as also they’ll say various other things. as well as also the idea will be red, they’ll possess the idea painted, although they don’t say the idea. Well, guess what? We’re saying “Merry Christmas” again. (Applause.)
as well as also as a Christmas gift to all of our hardworking families, we wish Congress will pass massive tax cuts for the American people. (Applause.) of which includes increasing the child tax credit as well as also expanding the idea to eliminate the marriage penalty. (Applause.) Because we know of which the American family will be the true bedrock of American life. So true. (Applause.) This particular will be such an exciting event because we are actually working very hard, as well as also hopefully Congress will come through.
You saw what we did yesterday with respect to healthcare. the idea’s step by step by step. (Applause.) as well as also of which was a very big step yesterday. Another big step was taken the day before yesterday. as well as also one by one the idea’s going to come down, as well as also we’re going to have great healthcare in our country. We’re going to have great healthcare in our country. (Applause.) We’re taking a little different route than we had hoped, because getting Congress — they forgot what their pledges were. (Laughter.) So we’re going a little different route. although you know what? inside the end, the idea’s going to be just as effective, as well as also maybe the idea will even be better. (Applause.)
For too long, politicians have tried to centralize the authority among the hands of a little few in our nation’s capital. Bureaucrats think they can run your lives, overrule your values, meddle in your faith, as well as also tell you how to live, what to say, as well as also how to pray. although we know of which parents, not bureaucrats, know best how to raise their children as well as also create a thriving society. (Applause.)
We know of which faith as well as also prayer, not federal regulation — as well as also, by the way, we are cutting regulations at a clip of which nobody has ever seen before. Nobody. (Applause.) In nine months, we have cut more regulation than any President has cut during their term in office. So we are doing the job. (Applause.) as well as also of which will be one of the major reasons, in addition to the enthusiasm for manufacturing as well as also business as well as also jobs — as well as also the jobs are coming back.
of which’s one of the major reasons — regulation, what we’ve done — of which the stock market has just hit an all-time historic high. (Applause.) of which just on the public markets we’ve made, since Election Day, $5.2 trillion in value. Think of of which: $5.2 trillion. (Applause.) as well as also as you’ve seen, the level of enthusiasm will be the highest the idea’s ever been, as well as also we have a 17-year low in unemployment. So we’re doing, actually, some work. (Applause.)
We know of which the idea’s the family as well as also the church, not government officials, of which know best how to create strong as well as also loving communities. (Applause.) as well as also above all else, we know This particular: In America, we don’t worship government — we worship God. (Applause.) Inspired by of which conviction, we are returning moral clarity to our view of the planet as well as also the many grave challenges we face.
This particular afternoon, in a little while, I’ll be giving a speech on Iran, a terrorist nation like few others. as well as also I think you’re going to find the idea very interesting. (Applause.)
Yesterday, things happened with Pakistan, as well as also I have openly said Pakistan took tremendous advantage of our country for many years, although we’re starting to have a real relationship with Pakistan as well as also they’re starting to respect us as a nation again, as well as also so are various other nations. They’re starting to respect the United States of America again, as well as also I appreciate of which. (Applause.) as well as also I want to thank the leaders of Pakistan for what they’ve been doing.
In This particular administration, we will call evil by its name. (Applause.) We stand with our friends as well as also allies, we forge fresh partnerships in pursuit of peace, as well as also we take decisive action against those who could threaten our people with harm. (Applause.) as well as also we will be decisive — because we know of which the first duty of government will be to serve its citizens. We are defending our borders, protecting our workers, as well as also enforcing our laws. You see the idea every single day like you haven’t seen the idea in many, many years — if you’ve seen the idea at all. (Applause.)
In protecting America’s interests abroad, we will always support our cherished friend as well as also partner, the State of Israel. (Applause.) We will confront the dangers of which imperil our nation, our allies, as well as also the planet, including the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. (Applause.)
We have made great strides against ISIS — tremendous strides. I don’t know if you’ve seen what’s going on, although tremendous strides against ISIS. They never got hit like This particular before. (Laughter.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT: Stand up. Stand up. Let me see — he’s a rough guy. I can see the idea.
although they’ve been just ruthless as well as also they’ve ruthlessly slaughtered innocent Christians, along with the vicious killing of innocent Muslims as well as also various other religious minorities. as well as also we’ve made their lives very, very difficult — believe me. (Applause.)
We’ve done more against ISIS in nine months than the previous administration has done during its whole administration — by far, by far. (Applause.) as well as also ISIS will be today being dealt one defeat after another. We are confronting rogue regimes coming from Iran to North Korea, as well as also we are challenging the communist dictatorship of Cuba as well as also the socialist oppression of Venezuela. as well as also we will not lift the sanctions on these repressive regimes until they restore political as well as also religious freedom for their people. (Applause.)
All of these bad actors share a common enemy, the one force they cannot stop, the force deep within our souls, as well as also of which will be the power of wish. of which will be why, in addition to our great military might, our enemies truly fear the United States. Because our people never lose faith, never give in, as well as also always wish for a better tomorrow.
Last week, Melania as well as also I were reminded of This particular in a powerful way when we traveled to Las Vegas. We visited a hospital where some of the survivors were recovering coming from absolutely horrific wounds. We met a young man named Brady Cook. He’s 22 as well as also a brand-fresh police officer. of which night was Brady’s second day in field training — his second day as a policeman, can you believe of which? although when the shooting began, he did not hesitate. He acted with incredible courage, rushing into the hail of bullets, as well as also he was badly shot inside the shoulder.
This particular will be what Brady said: “I didn’t expect the idea, although the idea’s what I signed up for. When stuff goes down, I want to be there to face evil as well as also to protect the not bad, innocent people of which need the idea.” as well as also here’s a young guy, great guy — as well as also second day. I said, Brady, don’t worry about the idea, the idea’s going to be easier coming from here. (Laughter as well as also applause.) Brady will be a hero, as well as also he can’t wait to get back on the job.
Several weeks before, when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, a local furniture storeowner, who’s known in Texas as “Mattress Mack,” decided he had to help. When the rain began to flood the streets of the city, he sent out his furniture trucks to rescue the stranded. He brought them back to his stores, as well as also gave them food as well as also a clean, dry place to stay, even if the idea meant ruining countless dollars’ worth of furniture.
As “Mattress Mack” put the idea, “My faith defines me, the idea’s who I am.” “We can afford [the cost]…what we can’t afford” — we can’t — as well as also he said This particular very strongly, “what we can’t afford will be to cause people to lose wish.”
In Brady as well as also Mack, we see the strength of the American spirit. This particular spirit of courage as well as also compassion will be all around us, every day. the idea will be the heartbeat of our great nation. as well as also despite certain coverage, of which beat will be stronger than the idea’s ever been before. You see right through the idea. (Applause.) of which beat will be stronger than the idea’s ever been.
We see This particular spirit inside the men as well as also women who selflessly enlist in our armed forces as well as also, actually, who go out as well as also risk their lives for God as well as also for country. as well as also we see the idea inside the mothers as well as also the fathers who get up at the crack of dawn; they work two jobs as well as also sometimes three jobs. They sacrifice every day for the furniture as well as also — future of their children. They have to go out. They go out. They work. The future of their children will be everything to them. They put the idea before everything. as well as also they make sure of which the future of their children has God involved inside the idea. So important to them. (Applause.)
We see the idea inside the church communities of which come together to care for one another, to pray for each various other, as well as also to stand strong with each various other in times of need.
The people who grace our lives, as well as also fill our homes, as well as also build our communities are the true strength of our nation, as well as also the greatest wish for a better tomorrow.
As long as we have pride in our country, confidence in our future, as well as also faith in our God, then America will prevail.
We will defeat every evil, overcome every threat, as well as also meet every single challenge. We will defend our faith as well as also protect our traditions. We will find the best in each various other as well as also in ourselves. We will pass on the blessings of liberty, as well as also the glories of God, to our children. Our values will endure, our nation will thrive, our citizens will flourish, as well as also our freedom will triumph.
Thank you to the Value Voter Summit. Such an incredible group of people you are. Thank you to all of the faithful here today. as well as also thank you to the people of faith all across our nation as well as also all over the planet.
May God bless you. May God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much, everybody. (Applause.)
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