President Donald Trump delivered remarks at the Salute to Our Armed Services Ball on Friday evening, officially capping off a packed day of inaugural events.
Trump told the crowd that James Mattis had been confirmed as Defense secretary and John Kelly as secretary of Homeland Security, two announcements that were met with cheers from the audience. The president noted that it was the generals who were confirmed by the Senate before any other members of his cabinet.
“The generals first…maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be,” Trump said.
Trump then turned to take questions from members of the armed forces in Afghanistan, who were being broadcast into the room via satellite. However, nobody actually asked a question; they just congratulated Trump on his victory, and Trump repeatedly thanked them before the next person in line congratulated him. This lasted for about five straight minutes. The president said that he wishes everyone were this nice to him, especially the media.
“You are the nicest people,” Trump said. “But they’re only nice right now to me. They’re probably definitely not so nice in other ways.”
The president also joked that he was mostly glad to see those in the room because they all voted for him. Moving on from anything related to the military or veterans, Trump talked about the fact that the media underestimated his campaign, a point he made in all four of his inauguration day speeches.
“You know, the journey started 18 months ago and people said we don’t have a big chance,” Trump said. “We went to number one about two weeks or three weeks into the polls, we went to number one in the primaries, and then we just stayed there, and we did well.”
At the conclusion of his remarks, President Trump introduced the first lady, Melania Trump, who had not spoken at the previous inaugural galas.
“I’m honored to be your first lady,” she said. “We will fight, we will win, and we will make America great again.”
With that, Donald and Melania Trump had their last dance of the evening, this time dancing to “I Will Always Love You” before returning to the White House as president and first lady of the United States of America.