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Trump visits Coast Guard station in Palm Beach County, praises hurricane response

President also boasts about stock market.
President Donald Trump speaks with members of the armed forces via video conference at his private club, Mar-a-Lago, on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, in Palm Beach, Fla. (Associated Press)
Published Nov. 23, 2017
Updated Nov. 23, 2017

President Donald Trump on Thursday morning visited a Coast Guard station in Palm Beach County and praised the response to hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

"And I would say in particular, Texas has been incredible. You saved 16,000 lives. Nobody knows that. 16,000 lives. In fact, when I first heard the number, I said 'you mean like, 600? 500?' 16,000 lives in Texas," Trump said, joined by First Lady Melania Trump at Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet.

"And then Florida hit, and you know that one very well. You did that one pretty well, right, the job you did in Florida. And then Puerto Rico. …

"I think that there is no brand — of any kind, I'm not just talking about a military branch — that has gone up more than the Coast Guard. Incredible people, you've done an incredible job, and I love coming in here and doing this for you today. I think it's — well, we have to keep you very well fed (scattered laughter) … so this is good stuff. But it's an honor. "

The president said he'd spoken to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq  "and we spoke to the USS Monteray, great ship, great missile ship. Spoke to a lot of different folks from the Air Force, the Army, just now, a little while ago at Mar-a-lago. "

Trump  boasted about cutting back on regulation, "and all the waste and all the abuse" and marveled at the stock market.

"The highest it's ever been — ever. Your whole long life, the stock market's higher than it's ever been. And that means your 401(k)s, your — all of the things that you have, whether it's — even if you're in the military, you have a country that's really starting to turn.

"We want to have a strong country. We want to have a country, where I can buy new Coast Guard cutters, and not have to worry about it, alright. And that's what we're doing, we're building up wealth, so that we can take care of our protection."