Trump's National Security Adviser to Speak at Coast Guard Commencement

New Coast Guard ensigns toss their cadet covers into air upon graduation in 2018.
New Ensigns toss their cadet covers into air upon graduation from the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., May 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

National security adviser John R. Bolton will be the graduation speaker at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut -- carrying on a long history of high-profile speakers.

The commencement address has been delivered by Presidents of the United States and top cabinet members for decades. President Donald Trump spoke at the academy in 2017 under a tradition in which presidents rotate their commencement speeches at the military service academies. Vice President Mike Pence delivered the address last year.

Bolton, whose official title is assistant to the President for national security affairs, will be speaking on May 22 at the 138th commencement on the academy's football field, overlooking the Thames River.

Bolton, 70, holds an undergraduate and law school degree from Yale.

A conservative for more than 50 years, Bolton ran a "Students for Goldwater" chapter when he was a high school student during the 1964 presidential election. He served as an intern under Vice President Spiro Agnew during the summer of 1972.

President George W. Bush appointed him as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in August 2005 as a recess appointment after a Democratic filibuster had stalled his nomination. After Democrats gained control of the U.S. Senate in the 2006 elections, Bolton resigned as U.S. ambassador after lawmakers predicted that he could not gain enough votes for confirmation in the Democratic-controlled chamber.

Trump made headlines in 2017 when he told the Coast Guard graduates that "no politician in history" had ever been treated as badly as he was.

"Look at the way I've been treated lately -- especially by the media," Trump said, to laughter from some in the crowd of about 4,000. "No politician in history -- and I say this with great surety -- has been treated worse or more unfairly. You can't let them get you down."

He added, "You have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight. Never, ever, ever give up. Things will work out just fine."

"The Coast Guard is the gold standard," Trump told 195 graduates. "Just as your instructors have at the academy, your Coast Guard commanders will explain their vision, and then they will trust you to get the job done. Just like I, as your president, will also trust you to get the job done."

This article is written by Christopher Keating from The Hartford Courant and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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