After President Donald Trump received a ceremonial saber at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly could be heard on an open microphone telling him, “You can use that on the press.”
“Yeah,” Trump replied with a chuckle as Kelly smiled at the commencement ceremony in New London, Connecticut.
The exchange occurred after Trump delivered the commencement speech to new graduates, remarks in which he complained about how he’s being covered by journalists.
“Look at the way I’ve been treated lately, especially by the media,” Trump told the crowd. “No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.”
The Trump administration has been embroiled in controversy over its ties to Russian officials, with the furor intensifying after reports this week he urged then-FBI Director James Comey in February to drop the agency’s probe into the matter. Comey was fired by Trump last week, one of the move that has prompted impeachment talks.
The White House has denied that Trump pressured Comey.
Kelly, a former U.S. Marine general, introduced Trump at the ceremony. He urged graduates to “tell the truth ... even though it’s uncomfortable’’ and others “may not want to hear it.”