- Associated Press - Saturday, May 13, 2017

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - The Latest on President Donald Trump’s commencement address at Liberty University (all times local):

5 p.m.

President Donald Trump is offering simple words of advice to university graduates: Follow your convictions, prepare to face criticism, and relish the opportunity to be an “outsider.”

In addressing the graduating class at Liberty University on Saturday, Trump declared that “it’s the outsiders who change the world.”

Trump kept to a largely upbeat message during the roughly 30-minute speech at the private Christian school in southwest Virginia. He never mentioned the latest controversy roiling his administration, his firing of FBI Director James Comey.

In his remarks, Trump drew parallels to his longshot presidential bid. He urged the graduates to never stop fighting for what they believe in.

The commencement address was his first as president. Liberty University’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., was among his earliest supporter.


11:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump says “there may very well be a president or two in our midst” as he looks out at the Class of 2017 at Virginia’s Liberty University and sees “the next generation of American leaders.”

And as he described the road ahead for the graduates, Trump described the lessons he says he’s learned since taking power in Washington.

Trump said in his commencement address that he’s seen up close “how the system is broken.” He is going after what he calls “a small group of failed voices who think they know everything and understand everyone, want to tell everybody else how to live and what to do and how to think.”

Here’s his message to students: “You aren’t going to let other people tell you what you believe, especially when you know that you’re right.”


11:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump says “so much has changed” since he last spoke at Virginia’s Liberty University in January 2016 - when he delivered the convocation address at one of the country’s most prominent evangelical Christian institutions.

Back then, he was one of many Republican candidates running to be president. And now he’s in the White House.

Trump has given the commencement address and he’s citing the class of 2017, “dressed in cap and gown graduating to a totally brilliant future.”

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

He says: “I’m guessing there are some people here today who thought that either one of those things - either one - would really require major help from God. Do we agree?”

After applause from the crowd, Trump said: “And we got it.”


11:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump is telling college graduates that they should “relish the opportunity to be an outsider.”

He says outsiders “change the world and make a real and lasting difference.”

Trump is delivering his first commencement speech as president at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

He says his message to those in the audience is “never, ever give up” and “never stop fighting for what you believe in.”

Trump was an outsider who challenged the political establishment on the way to winning the White House. He tells students that they should “be totally unafraid to challenge entrenched and failed power structures.” He then asked, “Does that sound familiar, by the way?”

And he says the more that people say something can’t be done, “the more you should be absolutely determined to prove them wrong.”

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