Trump Gives American Flag a Hug as He Walks on CPAC Stage

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AP Photo
KATHERINE RODRIGUEZ

President Donald Trump hugged the flag on the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday, marking his fifth overall appearance at the conference and his third as president.

Shortly before he began his more than two-hour speech on Saturday, Trump paused to hug the American flag on stage to the song “Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood. The speech was the longest ever CPAC speech and the longest speech given by a United States president at the conference.

Trump’s first speech at the conference was in 2011.

Although Trump had prepared a speech for the conference, he went “off script” to discuss a wide range of topics about his presidency.

“You know I’m totally off script right now, and this, you know, is how I got elected, by being off script,” he said. “And if we don’t go off script our country is in big trouble, folks.”

He also criticized congressional Democrats, special counsel Robert Mueller, and the FBI for conducting “bullshit” investigations, and mocked House Democrats’ “Green New Deal” legislation sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

“I do like the green new deal. I respect it greatly,” Trump joked as the crowd laughed. “It should be part of the dialogue of the next election.”

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