President Donald Trump on Friday told U.S. Naval Academy graduates that America has become “a lot” stronger recently and that “we are not going to apologize for America.”
“And we are respected again,” Trump said in a speech to graduates and their families gathered in Annapolis, Md. “I can tell you that. We are respected again.”
The remarks come as he cancelled this week a historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, though he hinted on Friday that the meeting could still take place. In a letter Thursday to Kim, Trump warned that U.S. nuclear capabilities “are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.” Earlier in May, Trump also withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in a move that was widely criticized by world leaders.
Sticking to that message, Trump added that “America is the greatest fighting force” for peace, justice and freedom in the world.
“And in case you haven't noticed, we have become a lot stronger lately,” he added. “A lot. We are not going to apologize for America. We are going to stand up for America. No more apologies.”
Trump praised efforts to boost defense spending. A $717 billion defense policy bill moving through Congress could mark a peak for defense spending and would boost the Navy’s shipbuilding budget by $1.9 billion above the Pentagon’s budget request.
“We will have the strongest military that we've ever had and it won't even be close,” he said. “And when did we need it more than now?”