Trump Stays Behind After US Air Force Address to Shake Hands with 1,000 Cadets
President calls graduates 'rock-ribbed American patriots'
Following President Donald Trump's commencement address at the U.S. Air Force Academy, he stayed behind to shake nearly all of the one thousand graduating cadet's hands.
"Most of all, to the nearly 1,000 cadets, who I have agreed to shake every, single hand," Trump told the cheering crowd.
The President then pardoned pranksters, which is the tradition for the nation's president to do when speaking to graduating cadets.
Trump was also presented with a gift of an American fighter jet flying over the Rocky Mountains during the ceremony.
Trump left for Colorado in the morning, but wasn't scheduled to return until late evening.
But the president made more time at the academy, after promising to shake every cadet's hand.
"They gave me a choice. They said, sir, you don't have to shake any hands, some people do that."
"Those are the smart ones. They're out of here," he added.
"You can shake one hand, to the one person, top of the class. You can shake 10, 50 or 100, and you could also stay for 1,000. And I'm staying for 1,000, OK?" he said to loud cheers.
Before Trump left the White House, he told the reporter the graduation is 'very exciting for me,' and the academy is an 'amazing place.'
While on Air Force One, he Tweeted:
'Getting ready to deliver the commencement speech at the Air Force Academy graduation. Very exciting - probably will be broadcast live on TV. They want good ratings.'
Trump told reporters on the South Lawn that he vowed to expose those behind the Russiagate corruption scandal, declaring that it will be one of his "greatest achievements."
When asked whether he believes Russian interference in the 2016 election helped to get him elected, to which he replied:
"No, Russia did not help me get elected. Do you know who got me elected? You know who got me elected? I got me elected. Russia didn't help me at all.
But in Trump's address, he opted not to wade into politics; instead, he encouraged the graduating class and teasing them about their shenanigans.
"To dominate the future, America must rule the skies. And that is what your time at this great academy has been all about - preparing you to do whatever it takes to learn, to adapt and to win, win, win," he said.
"You're gonna win so much; you're gonna get tired of winning, but not really. Not really. We never get tired of winning. Do we? No?"
"That saying, even the best cadets, can sometimes get a little bit carried away," he said.