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Trump Urges Liberty Students to Defy Critics, Challenge System

14 May 2017

The commencement ceremony and Donald Trump's speech begin Saturday morning at 10 am.

It's a great credit to the university-the largest Christian college in America-that President Trump has chosen it as the place to make his first commencement address.

Don't let others tell you what you believe, especially when you're convinced you're right, he told graduates. "And it is why we proudly proclaim that we are one nation, under God, every time we say the Pledge of Allegiance", Trump said.

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.

The university's president, Jerry Falwell, Jr., endorsed Mr. Trump's presidential bid in January 2016 ahead of the Iowa Caucuses and enhanced his credibility with social conservatives, a critical subset of the Republican primary electorate. "We have no choice". And now he's in the White House.

Not an empty seat can be seen in the 34,000-seat Liberty University football stadium as new graduates get set to hear from President Donald Trump.

"No one has ever achieved anything significant without a chorus of critics standing on the sidelines explaining why it can't be done", Trump said.

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"The comments Mr. Trump made 11 years ago were deplorable and I condemn them entirely", Falwell said, according to The Washington Post.

"Be totally unafraid to challenge entrenched interests and failed power structures", he said, adding with a smile: "Does that sound familiar, by the way?"

Trump suggested they choose careers they love "or you most likely won't be very successful at it". Mr. Trump said. "Treat the word "impossible" as nothing more than motivation".

Trump's rating was even higher-80 percent approval-among white evangelicals who attend church at least once a month. Trump congratulated the Flames, as the school's team is known, on joining the NCAA's Division I football bowl subdivision, where they now play some of the best teams in the country.

Trump also spoke of some important executive orders he had signed in recent weeks, noting his order easing enforcement of the Johnson Amendment. "Because it's the outsiders who change the world and make a lasting difference". Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, told University of Massachusetts-Amherst graduates they should fight for "the principle that no one, no one in this country is above the law and we need a Justice Department, not an obstruction of justice department".

"To young Americans at both schools, I will be bringing a message of hope and optimism about our nation's bright future", Trump said. What imprint will you leave in the sands of history? "The ability to offer deliverance and freedom to others is lost when we as Christians shrink back from living and proclaiming the truth of God". It will be the second graduation speech at Liberty by a sitting president, following George H.W. Bush's to the Class of 1990.

But the majority of his speech was devoted to lofty rhetoric about challenging a "broken system" and persevering in the "critics and doubters".

Trump Urges Liberty Students to Defy Critics, Challenge System