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Susan Walsh / AP

President Trump offered some advice to the graduates of the Coast Guard Academy during his commencement speech Wednesday:

"Over the course of your life... you'll find that things aren't always fair. But you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight. Never ever ever give up. Things will work out just fine. Look at the way I've been treated lately, especially by the media. No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly. You can't let them get you down. You can't let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams [applause]. I guess that's why we won? Adversity makes you stronger. Don't give in, don't back down, and never stop doing what you know is right. Nothing worth doing ever came easy. And the more righteous your fight, the more opposition you will face."

Key quotes:

  • "You have to act, and you have to act properly, and you have to learn how to act under great great pressure... you will always have to be ready."
  • "I didn't get elected to serve the Washington media or special interests, I got elected to service the forgotten men and women of our country. I will never stop fighting for you and I will never get tired..."
  • "Cadets from this day forward, we want everyone to have a clean slate in life, so for any oversights or small violations that may have occurred this year, as tradition holds, I now here absolve you..."
  • "My administration, we will be building the first heavy Coast Guard icebreakers... We need them. We need many of them."
  • "Under budget and ahead of schedule, we're doing a lot of that... I won't talk about how much I saved you on the F35 fighter jet..."

Why it matters: Similar to his commencement speech at Liberty University, Trump relished the opportunity to address a mainly supportive crowd after a week of being skewered by the media over a number of White House scandals.

Go deeper

55 mins ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.