"No one has ever achieved anything significant without a chorus of critics standing on the sidelines, saying it could never be done", he said.
Trump's visit to this bastion of support came after a tumultuous week in which he fired FBI Director James Comey and faced questions about whether the timing of the firing could be related to an ongoing investigation into possible ties between his campaign and Russian officials - after a determination by the USA intelligence community that Russia had meddled in the election to help Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. What's more, Liberty president Jerry Falwell Jr. has been a longtime backer of Trump - recently describing him as a "dream president for evangelicals" - and lauded the businessman during his introduction for taking action on issues dear to right-wing faithful such as appointing a conservative Supreme Court justice. Remember that? This time, Trump was very careful not to make another misstep in front of a crowd of devout Christians.
"President Trump delivered an outstanding message today that I believe will resonate not only among Liberty University graduates but among Christians throughout America and around the world", said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, an alumnus of Liberty University. "We are Liberty students who are disappointed with President Falwell's endorsement and are exhausted of being associated with one of the worst presidential candidates in American history", the letter reads.
KELLY: Let me go out on a limb and ask whether - well, let me guess - he did not raise either Russian Federation or Jim Comey today in this speech?
The speech began, as one might expect, with our president bragging about the size of the crowd that showed up at their own graduation to hear him speak, which Falwell had informed him broke previous commencement attendance records.
It has been a tradition for presidents in their first years in office to deliver commencement addresses at the University of Notre Dame, but thousands of students, faculty and alumni petitioned the university not to invite President Trump.
A pivotal part of Trump's presidential campaign took place at Liberty, where he vowed to students that he would champion and fight for their right to live out their Christian beliefs when they entered the workforce beyond the campus gates.
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Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], May 14: In his first commencement speech as the United States President, Donald Trump quite comprehensively lashed out at the Washington naysayers.
Mr. Trump's speech came amid one of the biggest firestorms of his presidency. A series of Friday morning tweets about possible "tapes" of Trump's conversations with Comey only added to the mounting pile of questions - from reporters and lawmakers, alike.
"But you aren't going to let other people tell you what you believe, especially when you know that you are right", Trump told the graduates. Falwell was effusive in his praise of Trump, who was awarded an honorary doctorate before his speech.
"Being an outsider is fine". Embrace that label, because it's the outsiders that change the world and make a real and lasting difference.
He urged graduates to "never give up" and to find the courage to challenge the status quo.
"In America, we don't worship government, we worship God", Trump said.
But they had a mixed response to an executive order on religious liberty Trump signed last week directing the IRS to ease up on enforcing a rarely enforced limit on partisan political activity by churches.