President Trump’s final stop on his 9-day tour of the Middle East and Europe was to speak at Naval Air Station Sigonella, in Italy. He spent some time to honor Memorial Day with the troops, and to reaffirm the nation’s resolve against terrorism, promising more funding for the military. For the majority of the speech, it seemed to be a rare moment of normalcy for the President. That is, until he began on a a tangent about wanting a “large, beautiful monument” built for him in the nation’s capitol.
When speaking about how much money he plans to allocate to defense spending, President Trump punctuated his sentiment by saying that his policy is for America to show “peace through strength.” From there Trump started on another self-serving tangent about his own “strength.”
Speech Transcript Excerpt Below:
“America will achieve peace through strength. When the world sees that we are a powerful, strong force, they will stop provoking us.
Everyone knows that you — the brave men of. And women. Of the United States military — are a powerful force to be reckoned with. Just ask Assad’s military who watched your cruise missile fall on their air base! Just ask ISIS in Afghanistan, who was hit with the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in battle. Ordered by me, of course.
See? That’s what I am about. Showing strength. Obama never wanted to use big bombs. Crooked-Hillary would never have used big bombs. But I am not afraid to go big, ladies and gentlemen. Everything I do is big, and powerful. And successful, too! Those bombing missions were so successful.
I just know that I will go down in history as an American President who was not afraid to show strength! We, as a nation, should be proud to display our strength. That’s why I’d like to look into building a new, large, beautiful monument at our nation’s capitol. One that shows the strength and power of this presidency, and our nation. Maybe we’ll call it ‘The Trump Monument.’ You know? Just like the Washington monument. But powerful. Very powerful. I can just see it now.
Who knows. Maybe I’ll even have my own holiday one day.”
Directly after this quote, it seemed that President Trump realized the direction his speech was going, because he abruptly changed gears back to talking about how he would fund the Departments of Defense and Veteran’s Affairs.
It’s not clear how genuine the President was about wanting to build a monument for himself in Washington, D.C., but he certainly does have the power to do so. As president, he has the power to declare any public land to be a national park, or public monument with a simple executive order. At that point, he would just need to instruct the Department of Interior to construct the monument.
This proposed monument will probably not come to fruition after President Trump’s caretakers explain to him how autocratic and egocentric that move would come across. However, if the President has proven one thing since January, it’s that he is anything but predictable.
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