- The Washington Times - Friday, December 15, 2017

President Trump on Friday congratulated the graduating class at the FBI National Academy and pledged to be “a true friend and loyal champion” to the agents and all law enforcement officers.

“You left for 11 weeks to enroll in this program because you love your jobs, you love your communities and you love your country,” he said at the academy in Quantico, Virginia.

His praise for the new agents followed recent dust-ups with the agency, having said its reputation was in “tatters” after what he has described as the botched handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation.

But in the speech, Mr. Trump said the training academy was “so respected.”

He also voiced support for tough-on-crime policies and promised complete allegiance with police.

“The president of the United States has your back 100 percent,” he said, later adding, “We believe criminals who kill police officers should get the death penalty.”

The president lauded the graduates for completing the grueling six-mile Yellow Brick Road course that was designed by the Marines.

“You endured muddy waters, barbed wire fences, icy creeks, steep hills and so much more, knowing that your elite training will help save lives,” he said. “The training you received at Quantico will give you that extra edge you need to diffuse a threat, to disarm a criminal and to deliver a child safely to her mother’s arms.”

Mr. Trump continued, “I am here not only to congratulate you but to honor you for your courage and your devotion and I want you to know that with me as your president, America’s police will have a true friend and loyal champion in the White House — more loyal than anyone else can be.”

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