Trump Says Military “Bigger, Better, Stronger” At USS Gerald R. Ford Commissioning

NORFOLK, Va. (CBSNews) — President Trump officially commissioned the U.S. Navy’s newest and largest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, in Norfolk, Virginia, on Saturday (July 22), applauding the military’s strength.

USS Gerald R. Ford is seen underway on its own power for the first time on April 8, 2017 in Newport News, Virginia. (U.S. Navy handout photo/Getty Images).

“When it comes to battle, we don’t want a fair fight. We demand victory and we will have total victory, believe me,” Mr. Trump said of the powerful aircraft carrier.

“American steel and American hands have constructed a 100,000-ton message to the world,” he added. “America’s might is second to none.”

Mr. Trump also used the event to reflect on military spending, highlighting his administration’s work in increasing the defense budget.

“You are fulling your duty to this nation and now it is our job of the government to fulfill its duty to you,” said Mr. Trump.

“It’s been a very, very bad period of time for our military, that is why were reached a deal to secure additional $20 billion for defense this year and it’s going up and why I ask Congress for another $54 billion for next year,” said Mr. Trump. “Now we need Congress to do its job and pass the budget that provides for higher stable and predictable funding levels for our military needs that our fighting men and women deserve, and you will get, believe me.”

While Mr. Trump urged military members to call their members of Congress and ask them to support his budget, he noted the ongoing health care debate as well, telling service members, “you can also call those Senators to make sure you get health care.”

Mr. Trump’s speech comes just one day after a major staff shake-up within the White House communications department, with White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigning and Sarah Huckabee Sanders promoted.

Spicer announced his resignation after Mr. Trump selected Anthony Scaramucci to be his new communications director, a decision that factored into Spicer’s decision to leave, CBS News confirmed.

Mr. Trump has previously visited the aircraft carrier, where he announced his plans to increase military spending dramatically.

“We will give our military the tools you need to prevent war,” Mr. Trump said in March. “… And if required, to fight war … and only do one thing — you know what that is? Win, Win! We’re going to start winning again.”