“I am here to deliver a simple message. There has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest and to grow in the United States,” President Donald Trump said Friday in a speech delivered at his first appearance before the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“America is open for business and we are competitive again,” Trump said in a more traditional, and quietly delivered, victory-lap speech than American viewers are accustomed to hearing from their POTUS.
“I believe in America. As President of the United States, I will always put America first. Just like the leaders of other countries should put their countries first. But America First does not mean America Alone,” Trump said, in what was touted during walk-up punditry as his first major economic speech on the world stage.
Trump delivered his speech hours after New York Times reported he had ordered his White House counsel to fire Robert Mueller last June, as Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election was gaining steam.
On his way to make his speech, reporters shouted questions about the report. “Fake News, folks,” Trump said, putting his hand up to one side of his mouth as if stage-whispering in some melodrama production.
“Typical New York Times fake stories. Thank you,” he said as he walked down the hallway.
Onstage, Trump bragged he had just enacted the “most significant tax cuts and reform in American history,” and noted the stock market is “breaking one record after another and adding more than $7 trillion in new wealth since my election.”
He also claimed 2.4 million jobs have been created since he took office, and touted the country’s low unemployment rates that began trending downward during the Obama administration.
“Like all nations represented at this great forum, America hopes for a future in which everyone can prosper, and every child can grow up free from violence, poverty and fear,” said Trump – a statement that may have rankled some at home who warn he’s trying to enact overhauls that would deprive tens of millions of people of health care.
Trump insisted his agenda is about “lifting up forgotten communities and helping every American find their path to the American dream of a great job, safe home and better life for their children.”
In Davos, Trump preached it is not enough to invest in the economy. “We must invest in our people. When people are forgotten, the world becomes fractured. Only by hearing and responding to the voices of the forgotten can we create a bright future that is truly shared by all.”
Moving on to military matters, Trump again called on “our friends and allies to invest in their own defense, and to meet their financial obligations,” adding, “our common security requires everyone to contribute their fair share.”
He specifically called on other governments to help “de-nuke the Korean peninsula,” and to confront Iran’s support of terrorists and block that country’s path to a nuclear weapon.
The real-estate developer-turned-reality-TV star buttered up the crowd of “industry titans, giants and many of the brightest minds in many fields,” telling them, “with this power comes an obligation” and a “duty of loyalty to the workers and customers who have made you who you are.”
“Together let us resolve to use our power, our resources and our voices, not just for ourselves, but for our people, to lift their burdens, raise their hope and empower their dreams. That’s what we’re doing in America,” he said – a statement argued by political pundits on cable news networks immediately after – “and the results are totally unmistakable.”