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“You wouldn’t have been going to Mars if my opponent won,” Trump tells Marines

Trump held a familiar rally Tuesday, telling Marines all about space wars, fake news, and Hillary Clinton.

by Alexa Liautaud
Mar 14 2018, 1:07pm

Standing before a boisterous crowd of U.S. troops at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Tuesday, Trump found himself in a familiar, comfortable scene.

And he hit all the old 2016 favorites, among them: calling out the media as “fake news,” attacking Hillary Clinton, and touting his border wall.

“Look at all those people back there. Look at that. Ah that fake news,” Trump said, pointing to journalists, as the crowd erupted in cheers and applause.

The president boasted the U.S. was undertaking “the largest military buildup” since Reagan, which included investing in American space programs.

“You wouldn’t have been going to Mars if my opponent won,” Trump said. “You wouldn’t be thinking about it.”

Trump also floated the idea of a new branch of the U.S. military dedicated to fighting wars in space. He said he contemplated calling the new service “the space force,” a version of what members of Congress have previously argued to exist as a subgroup of the Air Force.

“Maybe we need a new force, we’ll call it the space force,” Trump said. “And I was not really serious, and then I said, “What a great idea, maybe we’ll have to do that.”

Trump elaborated on the idea, outlining a policy that, on its face, appears to violate a treaty signed by the U.S. in 1967 that banned militarizing space.

“My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a warfighting domain, just like the land, air and sea,” Trump said. “We may even have a space force — develop another one, space force. We have the Air Force, we’ll have the space force.”

Trump, who had visited wall prototypes earlier in the day, also reached back to a 2016 campaign staple of railing against drugs and illegal immigration.

“We don’t have a choice, you need it,” Trump said of the border wall. “We need it for the drugs, we need it for the gangs, we need it for lots of reasons, we have to have it.”

But outside of the policy talking points and the Clinton-bashing, the president consistently praised the Marine Corps.

“Our administration is stacked with Marines because Marines are the kind of people you want at your side and trust me you don’t ever want to be on the other side of a fighting Marine,” he said.

Cover image: SAN DIEGO, CA - MARCH 13: President Donald Trump addresses troops at Miramar Marine Corp Air Station on March 13, 2018 in San Diego, California. President Trump, on his first visit to California, will view the prototype border walls and then attend a fundraiser in Beverly Hills. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on VICE News US.