Remarks: Donald Trump Attends Swearing-in of Mark Esper as Secretary of Defense – July 23, 2019

July 27, 2019

well thank you very much everybody we have a very important moment in our country's history actually and we had a lot of our great Republican senators in the White House and I invited him over and many of them wanted to be here and as you probably heard the vote just took place and it was 92 eighth that's a vote that we're not accustomed to mark I have to say that so congratulations it's great but I'm honored to be here today for the swearing-in of our new Secretary of Defense Mark T Esper I especially want to thank Justice Samuel Alito highly respected and a great gentleman a great man for joining us to administer the oath of office thank you very much thank you Sam we're also delighted to welcome several of secretary espers family members and friends to the White House today including his mother Polly hi Polly boy you proud of him Polly now you better believe it his wife Leah Thank You Leah very much and his three children Luke John and Catherine thank you very much congratulations to most importantly congratulations that's an incredible thing there's no one more qualified to lead the Department of Defense than Mark espera a West Point graduate great student actually secretary espera served our military for 21 years including in the Gulf War he also advanced u.s. national security in government and in private sector most recently a secretary of the army where he played a critical role training and equipping our armed forces that's where I got to know mark and there was nobody that did a better job than Mark and there's nobody that loves it more than Mark and thank you very much he's a recipient of the Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman badge he holds a doctorate in public policy from George Washington University and a Master of Public Administration degree from the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University I am confident that he will be an outstanding Secretary of Defense I have absolutely no doubt about it he is standing in every way and we're honored to have you aboard and I would ask justice alito please to administer the oath of office thank you thank you Constitution in the United States the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic against all enemies foreign and domestic that I will bear true faith that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and allegiance to the same that I take this obligation freely and I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion or purpose of evasion and that I will well and faithfully and then I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office discharge the duties of the office on which I'm about to enter on which I'm not enter so help me God so let me go congratulate [Applause] well thank you mr. president for your kind words for your confidence in me and for this incredible opportunity and thank you justice alito for a mystery the oath of office I really appreciate you being here this afternoon I'd also like the Senate to thank the Senate Armed Services Committee for its quick action on my nomination and for the strong a bipartisan support that I received today from the entire United States Senate it is an honor of a lifetime to be appointed Secretary of Defense and to lead the greatest military in history and I will do so with that same energy and commitment to duty honor and country that I have for nearly four decades since my early days at West Point mr. president it is a privilege for me and for my family to be here with you today thank you for your leadership and for your commitment to a strong national defense and to all of our servicemembers our military has made tremendous gains in recent years thanks to your leadership and we stand ready today to take on any challenge and while our soldiers sailors airmen and Marines stand guard each and every day we will ensure their families are well taken care of on a personal note I would like to thank my wife Leah who's been by my side now for 30 years as a military spouse herself my children Luke John and Kate my mother Paulie my in-laws Tom and Vaughn and my sisters who have joined me here today and everybody else who's been a steadfast supporter of me over the years again Thank You mr. president for allowing me to serve our great country once again as Secretary of Defense [Applause]

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