- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 14, 2019

President Trump escaped the impeachment hubbub in Washington on Saturday to watch Navy defeat Army in Philadelphia, rubbing elbows with new recruits and touting his waiver for military athletes who want to play professionally before serving their country.

Donning a Keep American Great hat, Mr. Trump enjoyed sporadic shouts of “Trump!” and “Let’s go Trump!” at Lincoln Financial Field. He also received cheers as he walked onto the field for the national anthem.

The commander-in-chief visited both locker rooms before the game. Inside, Mr. Trump recounted a conversation in which Army coach Jeff Monken explained the difficulties that cadets face in serving two years in the military before requesting reserve status.

SEE ALSO: Malcolm Perry rushes for 304 yards, leads No. 21 Navy past Army

“He said some of these guys could play in the NFL, you could play for the Yankees, you could play for the Mets, you could play basketball, you could play whatever,” Mr. Trump said. “But you have to serve a long time. And what we are doing now is you’ll go out and make a fortune and after you are all finished with your professional career you will go and you will serve. And everybody is thrilled.”

Navy came out on top in the game, 31-7.

Also Saturday, Mr. Trump greeted a group of young recruits being sworn into the Navy on the field. He accepted a football from them, posed for a photo and appeared to smile when they swore to obey the orders of the president.

Mr. Trump was accompanied by National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien. He also mingled with Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Sen. James Risch, Idaho Republican, also attended the game.

Mr. Risch said he wasn’t in the running for a new job and was just “hanging out.”

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