Trump mentions Auburn football during Liberty University commencement address

Liberty University students cheer after hearing "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave" at the Christian school's commencement ceremony in Lynchburg, Virginia, May 13, 2017. At another, he told students and parents at the conservative religious school that "nothing is easier or more pathetic than being a critic".

Trump took swipes at his Washington opponents, too, telling attendees that following their "convictions means you will face criticism from those who lack the same courage" to do the right thing.

Trump also touched on the role of faith in America throughout the almost 30-minute speech, receiving huge applause when announcing, "In America we don't worship government, we worship God".

The commander in chief typically addresses graduates of one of the USA military service academies and Mr Trump is scheduled to speak at the Coast Guard Academy in CT on Wednesday.

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"Be totally unafraid to challenge entrenched interests and failed power structures", he said, adding with a smile: "Does that sound familiar, by the way?"

"Treat the word "impossible" as nothing more than motivation".

I'm a little bit concerned.

"We feel strongly in education and regardless of who the Commencement speaker is, going to protest a graduation simply stands against our values", explained Lynchburg Democratic Committee Vice Chair Maria Childress, who acknowledged that "this is a big day for the students".

We are also celebrating all of the Americans who learn the skills and trades that generations of workers have used to build, shape, and supply this nation.

And he tells graduates that he's standing before them as the country's leader.

Falwell has continued to support Trump and told Judge Jeanine Pirro last week during an appearance on Fox, 'I'm just so proud that he's my president'.

Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Virginia that his pick for a new Federal Bureau of Investigation chief could come before he leaves for an overseas trip next Friday.

He further pushed the idea hat the USA is a Christian nation by pointing out that elected officials get sworn-in on Bibles and the pledge of allegiance includes the words "under God". Did we dare to defy expectations?

Instead of personal defenses, Trump came to Liberty's campus armed with a message of thanks for those evangelicals whose votes helped him prove the naysayers wrong in November - "Boy did you come out and vote", he said - and imparted on the graduates some tips for the future that could have come from Trump's own political playbook.

But the majority of his speech was devoted to lofty rhetoric about challenging a "broken system" and persevering in the "critics and doubters". "These are great signs for America's future - the future that our new graduates will play with such a critical role in shaping our world and our country", Mr. Trump said. Trump read out teams on the school's 2018 schedule, pausing at times for comic effect. At one point, he said, "you aren't going to let other people tell you what you believe, especially when you know that you're right". I don't know about that.

The first candidate to arrive was Alice Fisher, a high-ranking Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration.

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