President Donald Trump delivers an epic speech from the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

Check out the transcript mostly curated from CSPAN [edits have been made for accuracy]:

President Trump: Thank you, everybody, so great to be with you. Thank you. [applause]

Great to be back at CPAC. The place I have really — I love this place. Love you people. Thank you. Thank you very much. First of all, I want to thank Matt Schlapp and his very, very incredible wife and boss, Mercedes, who have been fantastic friends and supporters and so great when I watch them on television defending me, nobody has a chance. I want to thank Matt and Mercedes. [applause]

And when Matt called and asked, I said, absolutely, I’ll be there with you. The real reason I said it, I didn’t want him to go against me, that one you can’t beat. So I said, absolutely. It really is an honor to be here. I wouldn’t miss a chance to talk to my friends. These are my friends. [applause]

And we’ll see you again next year and the year after that and I’ll be doing this with CPAC whenever I can and I’ll make sure we’re here a lot. If you remember, my first major speech, sit down, everybody, come on. You know, the dishonest media, they’ll say, he didn’t get a standing ovation. You know why? You know why? Because everybody stood and nobody sat, so they will say he never got a standing ovation. Right? [applause] [chanting “USA”]

So, sit [applause] down. Donald trump did not get a standing ovation. They leave out the part, they never sat down, they leave that out. So I just want to thank you. My favorite major speech was at CPAC and probably five or six years ago, first major political speech. You were there. It was, I loved it, I loved the people, I loved the commotion and they did polls where I went through the roof and I wasn’t even running, right? It gave me an idea. And I got a little bit concerned when I saw what was happening in the country and I said, let’s go to it. So it was very exciting. I walked the stage on CPAC, I’ll never forget it really. I had very little notes and even less preparation. So when you have practically no notes and no preparation and then you leave and everybody was thrilled, I said, I think I like this business. I would have come last year, I was worried that I would be at that time, too controversial, we wanted border security, we wanted very, very strong military, we wanted all of the things we’re going to get and people consider that controversial, but you didn’t consider it controversial. [applause]

So I’ve been with CPAC for a long time, all of these years we’ve been together and now you finally have a president, finally, took you a long time, took you a long time. [applause]

And it’s patriots like you that made it happen, believe me, believe me. You did it because you love your country, because you want a better future for your children and because you want to make America great again. [applause]

The media didn’t think we would win. The pundits — you’re right, they had an idea. [applause]

The pundits didn’t think we’d win. The consultants that suck up all that money, they suck it up, they’re so good. They’re not good at politics, but really good at sucking up people’s money. Especially my opponents because I kept them down to a minimum, but consultants didn’t think we would win. But they all underestimated the power of the people, you, and the people proved them totally wrong. Never — this is so true, this is what has been happening, never underestimate the people, never. I don’t think it will ever happen again. [applause]

I want you all to know we are fighting the fake news, fixed, phony, fake. [applause]

A few days ago, I called the fake news the enemy of the people and they are, they are the enemy of the people. They have no sources, they just make them up when there are none. I saw one story recently where they said, “Nine people have confirmed…” – there are no nine people, I don’t believe there were one or two people, “nine people.” I said, give me a break, I know the people, I know who they talk to. There were no nine people. They say nine people. Somebody reads it and thinks nine people, they have nine sources, they make up sources. They are very dishonest people. Covering my comments, the dishonest media did not explain that I called the fake news the enemy of the people, the fake news, they dropped off the word “Fake,” and the story became the media is the enemy, they take the word “Fake” out and now I’m saying, “Oh, no, this is no good.” That is the way they are. I’m not against the media, I’m not against the press, I don’t mind bad stories if I deserve them and I tell you, I love good stories, but we won’t go there. I don’t get too many of them. But I am only against the fake news media or press, fake, fake, they have to lead that word. I’m against the people that make up stories and make up sources. They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name. Let their name be put out there. Let their name be put out. [applause]

“A source says that Donald Trump is a horrible, horrible human being.” Let them say it to my face. Let there be no more sources and remember this, and not in all cases, I had a story written yesterday about me in Reuters, by an honorable man, a very fair story. There are some great reporters around, they are talented, honest as the day is long, they’re great, but there are some terrible, dishonest people and they do tremendous disservice to our country and to our people, tremendous disservice, they are very dishonest shouldn’t use sources, they should put the name of the person, you will see stories dry up like you have never seen before. You have no idea how bad it is because if you are not part of the story, and I put myself in your position sometimes, many of you are not part of the story. If you are not part of the story, then you sort of know if you are part of the story, you know what they’re saying is true or not. So when they make it up and they make up something else and you saw that before the election, polls, polls, the polls, they come out with polls and everybody was so surprised, actually a couple polls got it right. Los Angeles times did it right, shocking because, you know, they did a great job. [applause]

And we had a couple of others that were right, but generally speaking, I can tell you the network, somebody said a poll came out. I say what network is it? And they’ll say, a certain — let’s not mention names, right? Shall we? [applause]

Well, you have a lot of them. The Clinton News Network is one. Totally. Take a look. Honestly. Take a look at polls over the last three years. You think they would fire the pollster, right? After years of getting battered, but I — who knows, maybe they are just bad at polling or maybe they’re not legit, one or the other, look how inaccurate, look at CBS, look at ABC, also, look at NBC, take a look at some of the polls, so bad, so inaccurate, what that does, creates false narrative, like a narrative that is just like we’re not going to win, people say, I love trump, you know I’m not feeling great today, he can’t win, so I won’t go and vote. I won’t go and vote. It creates a false deal. We have to fight it, folks, fight it. They are very smart, they are very cunning and very dishonest, so just to conclude, I mean, it’s a sensitive topic and they get upset when we expose their false stories, they say that we can’t criticize their dishonest coverage because of the First Amendment, you know, they bring up the first amendment. And I love the first amendment, nobody loves it better than me. Nobody. [applause]

I mean, who uses it more than I do? But the First Amendment gives all of us, gives it to me, to you, to all Americans, the right to speak our minds freely. It gives you the right and me the right to criticize fake news and criticize it strongly. And many are part of the large media corporations that have their own agenda and it is not your agenda and not the country’s agenda, their own agenda. They have a professional obligation as members of the press to report honestly. But as you saw throughout the entire campaign, and even now, the fake news doesn’t tell the truth. Doesn’t tell the truth. So just in finishing, I say it doesn’t represent the people, it doesn’t tell the – never will represent the people and we’re going to do something about it because we have to go out and have to speak our minds and we have to be honest. Our victory was a win like nobody has ever seen before. [applause]

I’m here fighting for you and I will continue to fight for you, the victory and the win were something that really was dedicated to a country and people that believe in freedom, security and the rule of law. Our victory — [applause]

— was the victory and the win for conservative values. And our victory was a win for everyone who believes it’s time to stand up for America, to stand up for the American worker and to stand up for the American flag. [applause]

Yeah, well we should stand up. Come on. There we should stand up. And by the way, we love our flag, by the way, you folks are in here, this place is packed, there are lines that go back six blocks and I tell you that because you won’t read about it, okay. There are lines that go back six blocks, there is such love in this country for everything we stand for, you saw that on election day. [applause]

You will see it more and more. We’re all part of this historic movement, movement the likes of which actually the world has never seen before. Never been anything like this, there’s been some movements, but never been anything like this there has been some movement that petered out like Bernie, petered out. It was a little rigged against him. Super delegate. Super delegate. She had so many delegates before the thing started, I said to my people, how does that happen? Not that I’m a fan of Bernie, but a lot of Bernie people voted for Trump because he’s right on one issue, trade. He was right about trade. Our country is being absolutely devastated with bad trade deals, he was right, we have a lot of Bernie support, actually I like Bernie, okay, I like Bernie. I’m here today to tell you what this movement means for the future of the Republican party and for the future of America.

First, we need to define what this great, great unprecedented movement is and what it actually to define represents. The core conviction of our movement is that we are a nation that put and will put its own citizens first. We traded away our jobs to other countries, so terrible. We defended other nation’s borders while leaving ours wide open, anybody can come in. We’re going to build a wall, don’t worry about it, we’re building the wall, we’re building the wall, in fact, it will start soon, way ahead of schedule, way ahead. Going to start soon, General Kelly has done a fantastic job, fantastic job he’s done. These are bad dudes, we’re getting the bad ones out, the bad. If you watch these people, it is like, geez, so bad, we are getting bad people out of this country, people that shouldn’t be, whether drugs or murder or other things, getting bad ones out, they go first and I said it from day one, basically all I’ve done is keep my promise. We spent trillions of dollars overseas while allowing our own infrastructure to fall into total disrepair and decay. In the middle east, we’ve spent as of four weeks ago, six trillion dollars. Think of it.

By the way, the Middle East is, not even close, it’s in much worse shape than it was 15 years ago. If our presidents would have gone to the beach for 15 years, we would be in much better shape than we are right now and this situation I inherited. I inherited a mess, believe me. We also inherited a failed healthcare law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe. Now I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work, folks. I mean, I could say, I could talk, it doesn’t work. Now people are starting to develop warm-up, but the people you are watching, they are not you. They’re largely, many of them are the side that lost. They lost the election. Like how many elections do we have to have. They lost the election. I always say Obamacare doesn’t work, the same people, two years ago were complaining about Obamacare and the bottom line, we’re changing it. We’re going to make it much better, we’re going to make it less expensive, going to make it much better. Obamacare covers very few people and remember, deduct from the number, all of the people that had great healthcare, that they loved, that was taken away from them, it was taken away from them. Millions of people were very happy with their healthcare, they had their doctor, the plan, remember the lie, 28 times, you could keep your doctor, you could keep your plan over and over and over again, you heard it. So we’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare. [applause]

And I tell Paul Ryan and all of the folks working with very hard, Dr. Tom Price, very talented guy, but I tell them from a purely political standpoint, single best thing we can do is nothing. Let it implode completely, it is already imploding, the carriers are all leaving, disaster. Two years, don’t do anything. Democrats come to us and beg for help, they will beg and it is their problem. But it is not the right thing to do for the American people, not the right thing to do. We inherited a national debt that has doubled in eight years, think of it, $20 trillion, it’s doubled. We inherited a foreign policy marked by one disaster after another. We don’t win anymore. What was the last time we won? Did we win a war? Did we win anything? Do we win anything? We’re going to win, going on win big, we’re going to start winning again. [chanting “USA”]

But we’re taking a firm, bold and decisive measure, we have to, to turn things around. The era of empty talk is over, it’s over. Now is the time for action. So let me tell you about the actions that we’re taking right now to deliver on our promise to the American people and on my promise to make America great again. We’ve taken swift and strong action to secure the southern border of the United States and to begin the construction of a great, great border wall. By doing this, and with the help of our great border police with the help of ICE, with the help of General Kelly and all of the people that are so passionate about this, our border patrol, I’ll tell you what they do, they came and endorsed me, ICE endorsed me. They never endorsed a presidential candidate before, they might not even be allowed to, but they were disgusted with what they saw and will stop the drugs from pouring into our nation and poisoning our youth. Pouring in. Pouring.

We get the drugs, they get the money. We get the problems, they get the cash. No good. No good. Going to stop. By stopping the flow of illegal immigration, we will save countless — and that is so important, the tax, the dollars we’re losing are beyond anything that you can imagine. And the tax dollars that can be used to rebuild struggling American communities, including our inner cities. [applause]

We are also going to save countless American lives. As we speak today, immigration offers are finding the gang members, the drug dealers and the criminal aliens and throwing them the hell out of our country. And we will not let them back in, they’re not coming back in, folks, if they do, they will have bigger problems than they ever dreamt of. I’m working with the Department of Justice to begin reducing violent crime. I mean, can you believe what is happening in Chicago, as an example? Two days ago, seven people were shot. And I believe killed. Seven people. Seven people. Chicago. A great American people, seven people shot and killed. We will support the incredible men and women of law enforcement. [applause]

Thank you. And thank them. I’ve also followed through on my campaign promise and withdrawn America from the Transpacific Partnership. We can protect our economic freedom and we’re going to make trade deals, but we’re going to do one-on-one and one-on-one and if they misbehave, we terminate the deal. They will come back and we’ll make a better deal. None of the quagmire deals. Look at NAFTA, one of the worst deals made by any country having to do with economic development, it is economic “un-development” as far as our country is concerned. We are preparing to repeal and replace disaster known as Obamacare. We’re going to save Americans from this crisis and give them the access to the quality healthcare they need and deserve. We have authorized the construction, one day, of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipeline. [applause]

And issued a new rule that took place while I was getting ready to sign. I said who makes the pipe for the pipeline? Well, sir, it comes from all over the world, isn’t that wonderful? Nope, it comes from the United States or we are not building them. American steel. If they want a pipeline in the United States, they’re going to use pipe that’s made in the United States. Do we agree? [applause]

Can you imagine, I told this story the other day. Can you imagine the gentleman never met him, don’t know the name of his company, I sort of know it, I want to get it exactly correct. Big, big powerful company. They spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the pipeline, same with Dakota, difference place, got approval and everything in the case of Dakota and they couldn’t connect it because they had people protesting that never showed up before. With the Keystone, they spent hundreds of millions of dollars with block sucker consultants sucking the blood out of the company. Don’t worry, I used them all my life, don’t worry, we will get it approved, I’m connected, I’m a lobbyist, don’t worry. Bottom line, Obama didn’t sign it. Could be 42,000 jobs somewhere around there, a lot of jobs. Didn’t sign it. Can you imagine, he gave up. It was dead. Now he’s doing nothing, calling his wife, hello, darling, I’m bored, that pipeline, that has killed us, killed our company. Knock, knock, Mr. So-and-so, the Keystone pipeline, sir, out of nowhere has just been approved. Now can you imagine the expression and you know the sad part, the same blood-sucking consultants that hit him for all the money that failed will go back to him and say, didn’t we do a great job, we want more money. Right? That is the way the system works, a little bit off, but that is the way the system works. We’re preparing bold action to lift the restrictions on American energy, including shell shale oil, natural gas and beautiful, clean coal and put the miners back to work. Miners are going back to work. [applause]

Yes. Miners are going back to work, folks. Sorry to tell you that, they’re going back to work. We have begun historic program to reduce the regulations that are crushing our economy, crushing. [applause]

Not only economy, crushing our jobs, because companies can’t hire. We’re going to put regulation industry out of work and out of business. [applause]

And by the way, I want regulation, I want to protect our environment, I want regulations for safety, I want all of the regulations that we need and I want them to be so strong and so tough, but we don’t need 75% of the repetitive, horrible regulations that hurt companies, hurt jobs, make us noncompetitive overseas with other companies from other countries, that we don’t need. We’re going to have regulation, be really strong and really good and going to protect our environment and going to protect the safety of our people and our workers, okay. [applause]

Another major promise is tax reform. We’re going to massively lower taxes on the middle class, reduce taxes on American business and make our tax code more simple and much more fair for everyone, including the people and the business. [applause]

In anticipation of these and other changes, jobs are already starting to pour back into our country, you see that. In fact, I think I did more than any other pre-president, they say president-elect. President-elect is meeting with Ford, Chrysler, with General Motors, I just wanted to save a little time. Because Ford and Fiat, Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Intel, and so many little others are now, because of the election results, making major investments in the united states, expanding production, and hiring more workers. They’re going back to Michigan and they’re going back to Ohio and they’re going back to Pennsylvania and they’re going back to North Carolina and to Florida. [applause]

It’s time for all Americans to get off of welfare and get back to work, you’re going to love it, you’re going to love it, you’re going to love it. [applause]

We’re also put nothing a massive budget request for our beloved military. And we will be substantially upgrading all of our military, all of our military, offensive, defensive, everything, bigger and better and stronger than ever before and hopefully will never have to use it, nobody is going to mess with us, folks, nobody. It will be one of the greatest military build-ups in American history. No one will dare question as they have been because we’re very depleted, very, very depleted, sequestered. Sequester. Nobody will dare question our military might again. We believe in peace through strength and that’s what we will have. [applause] As part of my pledge to restore safety for the American people, I have also directed the defense community to develop a plan to totally obliterate isis. Working with our allies, we will eradicate this evil from the face of the earth. At the same time, we working with our fully understand the national security begins with border security, foreign terrorists will not be able to strike America if they cannot get into our country. By the way, take a look at Europe, folks, take a look at what is happen nothing Europe. I took a lot of heat on Sweden. And then a day later, I said, has anybody reported what’s going on? It turned out they didn’t, not many of them did. Take a look at what happened in Sweden. I love Sweden, great country, great people, I love Sweden. They understand it. The people over there understand I’m right. Take a look at what is happening in Sweden. Take a look at what is happening in Germany. Take a look at what has happened in France. Take a look at Nice and Paris. I have a friend, a very, very substantial guy, he loves the City of Lights, he loves Paris. For years, every year during the summer, he would go to Paris, it was automatic, with his wife and his family. Hadn’t seen him in a while. I said, “Jim, let me ask you a question, how is Paris doing?” “Paris? I don’t go there anymore. Paris is no longer Paris.” That was four years, four or five years hasn’t gone there. He wouldn’t miss it for anything. Now he doesn’t even think in terms of going there. Take a look at what is happening to our world, folks. And we have to be smart. We have to be smart. We can’t let it happen to us. [applause]

Let me state this as clearly as we can, we are going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country. [applause]

We will not be deterred from this course and in a matter of days, we will be taking brand-new actions to protect our people and keep America safe, you will see the action. I will never ever apologize for protecting the safety and security of the American people, I won’t do it. [applause]

If it means I get bad press, if it means people speak badly of me, it’s okay, doesn’t bother me. The security of our people is number one, is number one. Our administration is running with great efficiency, even though I still don’t have my cabinet approved, nobody mentions that. You know, I still have people out there waiting to be approved and everyone knows they will be approved, it is just a delay, a delay, delay, it’s really sad, really sad. These are great people, these are some great people. We still don’t have our cabinet, I assume we’re setting records for that, the only thing good about it, is we’re setting records. I love setting records. But I hate having a cabinet meeting and have empty seats. I said, “Democrats, please approve our cabinet and get smart on healthcare, too, if you don’t mind.” [applause]

But we’re taking meetings everyday, with top leaders in business, in science and industry. Yesterday I had 29 of the biggest business leaders in the world in my office, Caterpillar tractor, Campbell’s Soup, we had everybody. We had everybody. We had everybody. I like Campbell’s soup. [applause]

We had everybody. And we came to a lot of very good conclusions and a lot of those folks that were in that room will be building big, big, massive new plants and lots of jobs and building them in this country, not in some other country. We’re meeting with unions and law enforcement and meeting with leaders from all around we are meeting with unions and law enforcement and with leaders from all around the world. Where the White House doors used to be totally closed, they were closed folks. You don’t realize that, they were closed. They’re now wide open and they’re open for people doing business for our country and putting people to work. [applause]

And when they come into the White House we are translating these meetings into action. One by one we are checking off the promises we made to the people of the United States. One by one, a lot of promises. And we will not stop until the job is done. We will reduce your taxes, we will cut your regulations, we will support our police, we will defend our flag. [applause] we will rebuild our military. We will take care of our great, great veterans. We’re taking care of our veterans. [cheers] [applause]

We will fix our broken and embarrassing trade deals that are no good. None of them. You wonder where did the people come from that negotiated the deals. Where did they come from? Well, they came also from campaign contributions, I must be honest. They’re not as stupid as you think. We will cut wasteful spending. We will promote our values. We will rebuild our inner cities. We will bring back our jobs and our dreams. So true. [applause] So true. By the way, we will protect our Second Amendment. [cheers] [applause]

You know Wayne and Chrisa are here from the NRA and they didn’t have that on the list It’s lucky I thought about it. They are great people. By the way, they love our country. The NRA has been a great supporter. They love our country. The forgotten men and women of America will be forgotten no longer. That is the heart of this new movement. And the future of the Republican party. People came to vote, and these people, the media, they said where are they coming from? What is going on here? These are hard-working, great, great Americans. These are unbelievable people who have not been treated fairly. Hillary called them “deplorable.” They are not “deplorable.” [boos] [chanting “Lock her up!”]

Who would have thought that a word was gonna play so badly? That’s the problem in politics. One wrong word and it’s over. She also said “irredeemable,” but we won’t mention that. The GOP will be, from now on, the party also of the American worker. [cheers]

We have not been given as a group credit for this, but if you look at how much bigger our party has gotten during this cycle, during the early days when we had 17 people running in the primaries. Millions and millions of people were joining. I won’t say it was because of me, but it was, okay? [laughter] [applause]

And we have an amazing, strong, powerful party that truly does want to see America be great again, and it will see it. And it’s gonna see it a lot sooner than you think. [applause]

We will not answer to donors or lobbyists or special interests, but we will serve the citizens of the United States of America. Believe me. [applause]

Global cooperation, dealing with other countries, getting along with other countries is good. It’s very important. But there is no such thing as a global anthem, a global currency, or a global flag. This is the united states of America that I am representing. I am not representing the globe. I am representing your country. [cheers] [chanting]

There is one allegiance that unites us all, and that is to America. America. The allegiance to America. No matter our background or income, or geography, we’re all citizens of this blessed land. And no matter our color or the blood — the color of the blood we bleed, it is the same red blood of great, great patriots. Remember, great patriots. [applause]

We all salute with pride the same American flag and we all are equal, totally equal in the eyes of Almighty God. We’re equal. [applause]

I want to thank, by the way, the Evangelical community. The Christian community. [cheers]

Communities of faith. Rabbis and priests and pastors, ministers, because the support for me was a record, as you know. Not only in terms of numbers of people, but percentages of those numbers that voted for Trump. So, I want to thank you folks. An amazing outpouring and I will not disappoint you. As long as we of faith in each other and trust in god, then there is no goal at all beyond our reach. There is no dream too large, no task too great. We are Americans and the future belongs to us. The future belongs to all of you. And America is coming about, and it’s coming back and it’s roaring and you can hear it. It will be bigger. It is going to be. It is going to be. Remember, it is roaring. It is going to be bigger and better and stronger than ever before. [cheers]

I want to thank you, and Matt and Mercedes, to thank you.

I want to say to you God bless you, and god bless the United States of America. Thank you, folks. Thank you. (music) [applause]


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