VIRGINIA — President Donald Trump stood aboard a soon-to-be commissioned Navy aircraft carrier Thursday, March 2nd and touted his calls for a multi-billion dollar military investment, promising a “great rebuilding of our military might.”
Donning a Navy cap and jacket emblazoned with The Future USS Gerald R Ford’s emblem, President Trump said a military buildup is both a way to prevent wars and, if necessary, win them.
“Hopefully it’s power we don’t have to use. But if we do, they’re in big trouble,” President Trump said before an audience of Navy sailors and civilian shipbuilders.
The President said his planned $84 billion increase in the defense budget he has called for over the next two years would be “one of the largest spending increases in US history” and would result in a “major expansion of our entire Navy fleet.”
President Trump’s first budget proposal will look to increase defense and security spending by $54 billion. In addition to the 2018 increase, President Trump will also seek a $30 billion in supplemental defense money for the fiscal year 2017, including some funding for the planned US-Mexico border wall, a senior administration official told CNN.
President Trump championed the major spending increase as an economic boon, tying in his calls for a bigger military with his promises of boosting US manufacturing.
“American ships will sail the seas. American planes will soar the skies. American workers will build our fleets,” said President Trump, flanked by hard hat-clad employees of Newport News Shipbuilding, to applause.
President Trump did not mention the mounting pressure facing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from overseeing a Justice Department investigation into Russian ties to President Trump’s campaign. Reports emerged Wednesday evening that Sessions had met with the Russian ambassador to the US and failed to disclose it during his Senate confirmation process.
But President Trump told reporters traveling with him he has “total” confidence in Sessions and he shouldn’t recuse himself.