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Trump hits back on critics of trade policy during VFW speech

Posted: 1:09 PM, Jul 24, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-24 18:37:19-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – In front of an estimated 4,000 veterans and guests at Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium, President Donald Trump outlined what he said has been progress during his administration.

Trump opened his 54-minute speech at the VFW Convention by inviting Missouri Attorney General and U.S. Senate hopeful Josh Hawley up to the stage. Hawley, the presumed Republican nominee, is locked in a tough battle with incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D–Missouri).

Watch the president's full speech below: 

Trump also offered condolences for the 17 lives lost last week when a duck boat sank during a thunderstorm on Table Rock Lake in Branson.

WATCH: Trump remembers lives lost on Table Rock Lake

The president then pivoted to issues and concerns in his administration.

Trump discussed VA reform saying, "When a bad person neglects, abuses our great veterans, we can turn to them and say to them, get out. Get out." 

On the same day his administration announced $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers, the president asked for patience in his on-going trade policy.

"The way we keep America great is at least fair trade deals, not stupid trade deals like we've put up with for 25 years," Trump said. 

Later in the speech, the president continued his criticisms of the press, telling the audience not to believe what they see.

Later Tuesday afternoon, the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization tweeted it was "disappointed" to hear the audience boo members of the press.

Toward the end of his remarks, the president invited 94-year-old World War II veteran Sgt. Allen Jones onto the stage. Jones took a few moments to speak to the audience before speaking directly to the president. Jones asked Trump if he and his family might be able to come to the White House, and Trump said yes.