Trump wants 1,000 military students to break lockdown so that he can give a speech at their school

Moya Lothian-McLean@moya_lm
Monday 27 April 2020 09:30
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(Getty)

We know Donald Trump loves an audience.

The businessman cut his teeth on reality TV before he became president of the United States.

A lot of his showboating on the political stage has obvious roots in his TV career.

But Trump’s latest plans to mouth off in front of a crowd are being called into question after it was revealed he wants to recall 1,000 cadets to attend a graduation ceremony at West Point, one of the most famous military academies in the United States.

According to the New York Times, Trump’s decision came after plans for his VP, Mike Pence, to speak at the Air Force Academy’s commencement ceremony went ahead.

“Not one to be upstaged”, as the Times put it, Trump then announced to reporters that he too would be speaking at the West Point graduation event on 13 June, saying:

"'m doing it at West Point, which I look forward to. I did it last year at Air Force. I did it in Annapolis. I did it at the Coast Guard Academy and I'm doing it at West Point. And I assume ... they'll have (social) distancing. They'll have some big distance, so it'll look very different than it ever looked.

However, this reportedly came as news to officials at West Point who had not yet decided on any plans, although they were toying with a delayed ceremony.

Trump’s announcement though means they are now bringing back 1,000 graduating cadets to the campus in New York, which is the epicentre of the US coronavirus outbreak with 158,0000 confirmed cases.

“He’s the commander in chief, that’s his call,” said Sue Fulton, former chairwoman of the academy’s Board of Visitors.

Cadets are certainly excited about the opportunity to have something like the classic graduation, standing together, flinging their hats in the air.

But everyone is leery about bringing 1,000 cadets into the New York metropolitan area for a ceremony. It’s definitely a risk.

The news was ridiculed by social media users, who called Trump “desperate” while pointing out Trump repeatedly avoided being drafted for the military five times in his youth.

There were also comparisons made to Captain Brett Crozier, a Navy official fired after a letter he wrote calling for help in dealing with a coronavirus outbreak on his vessel, leaked to the media.

Crozier was hailed by his crew as a hero for trying to protect them.

Veterans even chimed in to say their bit.

Enjoy the speech Trump. We hope it makes you very happy.

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