After tough week, Trump looks for a lift at Liberty University




  • In US
  • 2017-05-13 15:00:00Z
  • By Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Saturday is set to deliver the commencement address - his first as president - to Liberty University, the nation's largest Christian college, where he is expected to find to a friendly audience after a week of turmoil in Washington.

Trump has been closeted in the White House all week, making only a few, brief public appearances after he took the highly unusual and fraught step of abruptly firing James Comey as FBI director on Tuesday.

Dismissing the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at a time when the agency probes alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election has sparked criticism of presidential overreach and overshadowed Trump's push to boost jobs through tax reform and a massive infrastructure program.

On Saturday, Trump told reporters traveling with him on Air Force One that he wants to move quickly to nominate a new FBI director to replace Comey, saying he may be able to make his decision before he leaves for his first foreign trip later next week.

The college in Lynchburg, Virginia should provide a receptive crowd for Trump. He campaigned there during his run for office and was bolstered by the endorsement of its president, Jerry Falwell Jr., who helped secure support from religious conservatives.

"He's going to tell them what he wants to do to make their careers run more smoothly and make it easier for them to raise families," Falwell told WDBJ7, a CBS television affiliate in Roanoke, Virginia, about Trump's message to graduates.

"I've been working with his speech writers and I think he's going to deliver a wonderful speech that will be personal to Liberty," Falwell said in the interview.

Trump has expressed frustration that the Russia probe has loomed over his presidency. He insisted this week that he fired Comey over his performance, not because of the investigation, but the timing of the dismissal and his comments afterward have raised alarms with his critics.

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.

"To young Americans at both schools, I will be bringing a message of hope and optimism about our nation's bright future," Trump said in his weekly address to the nation.

Trump will encourage students to "be a force for good in the world by standing up for the values that Liberty has taught them," White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

Liberty University said it expects more than 7,000 of its 18,000 graduates to participate in the ceremonies, most of whom earned their degree online. Past commencements have attracted as many as 40,000 people, the college said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Bill Trott and Alistair Bell)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Trump takes 'America First' to wary U.N. audience
Trump takes 'America First' to wary U.N. audience

President Trump will use his maiden speech to the U.N. General Assembly to condemn Iran, call for global action on North Korea, and unapologetically defend his nationalistic "America First" stance before wary world leaders, administration officials said. Chinese President Xi Jinping is skipping the annual diplomatic crush in New York, but Trump will at least implicitly criticize Beijing in his Tuesday speech for not doing enough to tighten an economic vise on North Korea.

Interior chief urges shrinking 4 national monuments in West
Interior chief urges shrinking 4 national monuments in West

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that four large national monuments in the West be reduced in size, potentially opening up hundreds of thousands of acres of land revered for natural beauty ...

Hillary Clinton Won't Rule Out Questioning The Legitimacy Of Donald Trump's Election
Hillary Clinton Won't Rule Out Questioning The Legitimacy Of Donald Trump's Election

Hillary Clinton opened the door to possibly questioning whether Donald Trump was legitimately elected president, depending on the outcome of investigations into Russia's role in the 2016 campaign.

Trump
Trump's week anchored by speech to UN General Assembly

NEW YORK (AP) - President Donald Trump is making his debut at the United Nations and taking his complaints about the world body straight to the source.

Pro-Trump rally draws hundreds, not thousands to Washington
Pro-Trump rally draws hundreds, not thousands to Washington

Organizers had dubbed it the Mother of All Rallies and hoped to bring out thousands to pack the National Mall on Saturday in support of President Donald Trump. In the end, hundreds of flag-waving demonstrators ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.