President Trump addressed graduates at Liberty University, the Christian school whose leader was among President Trump's earliest and most vocal supporters.
In one of the more weird sections of the speech, Trump read off the Liberty University football team's entire 2018 schedule, remarking several times on the difficulty of the competition they would face - "Jerry, are you sure you know what you're doing here?" he asked upon noting that the team would be facing perennial powerhouse Auburn.
"I've seen firsthand how the system is broken", Trump said, and how a "small group of failed voices" attempts to dictate "how to live and how to think".
Trump appeared in good spirits at the end of a tumultuous week in which he fired FBI Director James Comey, leaving his close aides and surrogates to try to deal with the political fallout. He said he's frustrated that the media is so obsessed with Comey's firing, which he agrees with, and the investigation into ties between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.
President Donald Trump told Liberty University graduates today to follow their dreams despite naysayers, implicitly taking aim at his own "pathetic" critics.
Trump suggested they choose careers they love "or you most likely won't be very successful at it".
Liberty's president, Jerry Falwell, Jr., has long supported Trump, himself a Presbyterian who has married three times, built casinos, and was caught on tape bragging about groping women.
"In America, we don't worship government", Trump said. In that speech, Trump promised: "We're going to protect Christianity, and I can say that".
Jerry Falwell Jr., Liberty's president, helped Mr. Trump win an overwhelming 80 percent of the white evangelical vote.
He asked graduates to ask themselves going forward whether they defied expectations, challenged the accepted wisdom and took on established systems.
Mr. Trump also told Liberty University grads that it was okay to be an outsider and to embrace that label, claiming that "we're doing very, very well... against the tide of barbarity", claiming there would be more news coming from generals in the next week.
On Saturday, his response to the backlash was a speech in which he praised courage of conviction and warned how those who lack it don't have "the guts or the stamina" to do what's right. Trump said. He then added: "I think I did". He directed the IRS to ease up on enforcing an already rarely enforced limit on partisan political activity by churches.
[T] he president received a warm reception on Saturday from the roughly 50,000 commencement attendees - a record crowd for the university, he proudly declared. "We have to set records, we have no choice".
"No one has ever achieved anything significant without a chorus of critics standing on the sidelines, saying it could never be done", he said. Several presidents, including Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, have spoken first at the University of Notre Dame.
The two other themes Trump heavily drilled upon during his half-hour speech were God and football.