Read: Full transcript of Donald Trump's National Prayer Breakfast speech

Published: Thursday, February 02, 2017 @ 10:27 AM
Updated: Thursday, February 02, 2017 @ 1:14 PM


            WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 02: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast February 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Every U.S. president since Dwight Eisenhower has addressed the annual event. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 02: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast February 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Every U.S. president since Dwight Eisenhower has addressed the annual event. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump delivered a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. 

Here's the full text: 

"Thank you, Mark. So nice. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. It's a great honor to be here this morning. So many faith leaders, very, very important people from across our magnificent nation. So many leaders from all across the globe. Today, we continue a tradition begun by President Eisenhower some 64 years ago. This gathering is a testament to the power of faith and is one of the great customs of our nation, and I hope to be here seven more times with you. 

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"I want very much to thank our cochair, Sen. Boozeman and Sen. Coons and all of the congressional leadership. They're all over the place. We have a lot of very distinguished guests, and we have one guest who was sworn in last night -- Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State. Going to do a great job. Some people didn't like Rex because he got along with leaders of the world. I said, 'No, I think you have to understand that's a good thing, not a bad thing.' He's respected all over the world, and I think he will go down as one of our great, great secretaries. We appreciate it. Thank you, Rex.

"Thank you as well to Senate Chaplain Barry Black and his moving words. I don't know Chaplain whether that's an appointed position. Is that an appointed position? I don't even know if you're a Democrat or a Republican, but I'm appointing you for another year. To hell with it. And I think it's not even my appointment. It's the Senate's appointment. But we'll talk to them. Your son is here. Your job is very very secure, OK? Thank you, Barry. Appreciate it very much.

"I also want to thank my great friends. Roma, where's Roma? The beautiful Roma Downey. The voice of an angel. She's got the voice -- every time I hear that voice. It's is so beautiful. Everything is so beautiful about Roma, including her husband because he's a special, special friend. Mark Burnett (thank you) for the wonderful introduction. So true. So true. I said to the agent, 'I'm sorry.' The only thing wrong -- I actually got on the phone and fired him myself because he said 'You don't want to do it. It'll never work. It'll never, ever work. You don't want to do it.' 

"But I really fired him after it became the No. 1 show. It became so successful, and he wanted a commission, and he didn't want to do the show. That's what I really said. But we had tremendous success on 'The Apprentice.' When I ran for president, I had to leave the show. That's when I knew for sure I was doing it. They hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to take my place. And we know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes. It's been a total disaster, and Mark will never, ever bet against Trump again. And I want to just pray for Arnold if we can for those ratings. But we've had an amazing life together the last 14, 15 years. An outstanding man. Thank you for introducing me. Appreciated. It's a great honor.

"I also want to thank my dear friend, Vice President, Mike Pence. He's been incredible and incredible wife, Karen. And every time I was in a little trouble with something where they were questioning me they'd say, 'But he picked Mike Pence, so he has to know what he's doing.' And it's true. On a scale of 0-10, I rate him a 12. OK? So I want to thank you. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

"But most importantly, I want to thank the American people. Your faith and prayers have sustained me and inspired me through some very, very tough times. All around America I have met amazing people whose words of worship and encouragement has a constant source of strength. What I hear most often as I travel the country are five words that never, ever fail to touch my heart. That's 'I am praying for you.' I hear it so often. 'I am praying for you, Mr. President.' No one has inspired me more in my travels than the families of the United States military. Men and women who put their lives on the line every day for their country and their countrymen.

"I just came back yesterday from Dover Air Force Base to join the family of Chief William Ryan Owens as America's fallen hero was returned home. Very, very sad, but very, very beautiful. Very, very beautiful. His family was there. Incredible family. Loved him so much. So devastated. He was so devastated. But the ceremony was amazing. He died in defense of our nation. He gave his life in defense of our people. Our debt to him and our debt to his family is eternal and everlasting. Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends. We will never forget the men and women who wear the uniform. Believe me. 

"From generation to generation, their vigilance has kept our liberty alive. Our freedom is won by their sacrifice and our security has been earned with their sweat and blood and tears. God has blessed this land to give us such incredible heroes and patriots. They are very, very special, and we are going to take care of them. Our soldiers understand that what matters is not party or ideology or creed, but the bonds of loyalty that link us all together as one. America is a nation of believers. In towns all across our land it is plain to see what we easily forget -- so easily we forget this -- that the quality of our lives is not defined by our material success, but our spiritual success. I will tell you that. And I tell you that from somebody that has had material success and knows tremendous numbers of people with great material success -- the most material success. Many of those people are very, very miserable, unhappy people. And I know a lot of people without that, but they have great families. They have great faith. They don't have money -- at least not nearly to the extent -- and they are happy. Those, to me, are the successful people, I have to tell you.

"I was blessed to be raised in a churched home. My mother and father taught me that to whom much is given, much is expected. I was sworn in on the very bible from which my mother would teach as young children. And that faith lives on in my heart every single day. The people in this room come from many, many backgrounds. You represent so many religions and so many views. But we are all united by our faith in our creator and our firm knowledge that we are all equal in His eyes. We are not just flesh and bone and blood. We are human beings with souls. Our republic was formed on the basis that freedom is not a gift from government, but that freedom is a gift from God.

"It was the great Thomas Jefferson who said the God who gave us life gave us liberty. Jefferson asked, 'Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?' Among those freedoms is the right to worship according to our own beliefs. That is why I will get rid and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution. I will do that. Remember.

"Freedom of religion is a sacred right, but also a right under threat all around us and the world is under serious, serious threat in so many different ways. And I've never seen it so much and so openly since I took the position of president. The world is in trouble, but we are going to straighten it out. OK? That's what I do. I fix things. We are going to straighten it out. Believe me. When you hear about the tough telephone calls I'm having, don't worry about it. Just don't worry about it. They're tough. We have to be tough. It's time we're going to be a little tough, folks.

"We're taken advantage of by every nation in the world, virtually. It's not going to happen anymore. It's not going to happen anymore. We have seen unimaginable violence carried out in the name of religion. Acts of wanton slaughter against religious minorities, horrors on a scale that defy description. Terrorism is a fundamental threat to religious freedom. It must be stopped, and it will be stopped. It may not be pretty for a little while. It will be stopped. We have seen ... And by the way, General, as you know, James 'Mad Dog' -- shouldn't say it in this room -- Mattis. Now there's a reason they call him Mad Dog Mattis. Never lost a battle. Always wins them and always wins them fast. He's our new secretary of defense. Will be working with Rex. He's right now in South Korea going to Japan going to some other spots. I've gotten to know him really well. He is the real deal. We have somebody who is the real deal working for us, and that is what we need. You watch. You just watch. Things will be different. We have seen peaceloving Muslims brutalized, victimized, murdered and oppressed by ISIS killers. We have seen threats of extermination against the Jewish people. We have seen a campaign of ISIS and genocide against Christians where they cut off heads. Not since the Middle Ages have we seen that. We haven't seen that. The cutting off of heads. Now they cut off the heads. They drown people in steel cages. I haven't seen this -- nobody's seen this -- for many, many years.

"All nations have a moral obligation to speak out against such violence. All nations have a duty to work together to confront it, viciously, if we have to. So I want to express clearly today to the American people that my administration will do everything in its power to defend and protect religious liberty in our land. America must forever remain tolerant society where all faiths are respect and where all of our citizens can feel safe and secure. We have to feel safe and secure. In recent days, we have begun to take necessary action to achieve the goal. Our nation has the most generous immigration system in the world. But these are those and there are those that would exploit that generosity to undermine the values that we hold so dear. We need security. There are those who would seek to enter the country for the purpose of spreading violence or oppressing other people based upon their faith or their lifestyle. Not right.

"We will not allow a beachhead of intolerance to spread in our nation. You look all over the world and you see what's happening. So in the coming days, we will develop a system to help ensure that those admitted into our country fully embrace our values of religious and personal liberty. And that they reject any form of oppression and discrimination. We want people to come into our nation. But we want people to love us and to love our values. Not to hate us and to hate our values. We will be a safe country. We will be a free country and we will be a country where all citizens can practice their beliefs without fear of hostility or fear of violence.

"America will flourish as long as our liberty and in particular our religious liberty is allowed to flourish. America will succeed as long as our most vulnerable citizens -- and we have some that are so vulnerable -- have a path to success. And America will thrive as long as we continue to have faith in each other and faith in God. That faith in God has inspired men and women to sacrifice for the needy, to deploy to wars overseas and to lock arms at home to ensure equal rights for every man, woman and child in our land. It is that faith that sent the pilgrims across oceans, the pioneers across the plains and the young people all across America to chase their dreams. They are chasing their dreams. We are going to bring those dreams back.

"As long as we have God, we are never, ever alone. Whether it is soldier on the night watch or the single parent on the night shift, God will always give us solace and strength and comfort. We need to carry on and to keep carrying on. For us here in Washington, we must never, ever stop asking God for the wisdom to serve the public according to His will. That is why President Eisenhower and Sen. Carlson had the wisdom to gather together 64 years ago to begin this truly great tradition. But that is not all they did together. Let me tell you the rest of the story. Just one year later, Sen. Carlson was among the members of Congress to send to the president's desk a joint resolution that added 'Under God' to our Pledge of Allegiance. It's a great thing. Because that is what we are and that is what we will always be and that is what our people want -- one beautiful nation under God. Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America. Thank you."

>> Read: Full transcript of Donald Trump's speech on Black History Month

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Nonprofit helping pay off mortgage on slain police officer's family home

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 3:33 AM

This Dec. 10, 2012 photo shows Weymouth Police Officer Michael C. Chesna in Weymouth, Mass. (Gary Higgins/The Quincy Patriot Ledger via AP)
Gary Higgins/AP
This Dec. 10, 2012 photo shows Weymouth Police Officer Michael C. Chesna in Weymouth, Mass. (Gary Higgins/The Quincy Patriot Ledger via AP)(Gary Higgins/AP)

A nonprofit organization has announced a major donation to help pay off the mortgage on a slain Massachusetts police officer's family home.

Weymouth police Sgt. Michael Chesna, 42, was shot and killed Sunday in the line of duty. 

>> On Boston25News.com: Weymouth police Officer Michael Chesna posthumously promoted to sergeant

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The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is providing the first $100,000 toward the mortgage and is challenging others to support the family through the initiative.

Any money raised exceeding the mortgage will go directly to Chesna's wife and two children.

>> On Boston25News.com: Court docs: Man stood over Weymouth officer and shot him 10 times

The foundation, established in memory of a fallen 9/11 firefighter, supports military and first responders who are killed in the line of duty. In addition to his service with the Weymouth Police Department, Chesna was also a military veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Frank Siller, chairman and CEO of the foundation, will join Weymouth police Chief Richard Grimes at the Weymouth Police Department at 3 p.m. Wednesday to make the official announcement.

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Florida college student saves mom's life before dying in crash

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 1:44 AM

Florida mom Charina Yutuc said her son, Greg, saved her life in the seconds before a Jacksonville crash that claimed his life.
ActionNewsJax.com
Florida mom Charina Yutuc said her son, Greg, saved her life in the seconds before a Jacksonville crash that claimed his life.(ActionNewsJax.com)

A Florida mother said her son saved her life in the seconds before a crash that claimed his life.

>> Watch the news report here

Greg Yutuc, 22, was the only person killed in a three-vehicle crash near Jacksonville's Buckman Bridge on Saturday afternoon.

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>> On ActionNewsJax.com: PHOTOS: University of North Florida student saves mom's life in I-295 crash, dad says

Stitches lined Gerry Yutuc’s bruised eyelid and his wife, Charina, had a seat belt burn across her chest.

“All I remember is seeing that red car and we are spinning around,” Gerry Yutuc said.

They were headed back from their family vacation and were driving on I-295 with their three kids in their van when state troopers said a 21-year-old driver rear-ended another car, then cut off their van.

“It was too late for me,” Yutuc said.

Their son, Greg, was sitting in the passenger seat and grabbed the steering wheel at the last second.

“So the impact could be on his side, to avoid the impact on mom,” Yutuc said.

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Yutuc said the van flipped.

“I looked around and saw four people. My wife, my two daughters and without Greg,” Yutuc said.

Greg was thrown from the vehicle and an officer on scene told them their son didn’t make it.

Florida Highway Patrol said Greg was not wearing a seat belt.

“We didn’t have a chance to hug him and say goodbye,” Yutuc said.

Since Greg was a child, he’s been on several mission trips and had plans of becoming a missionary, his parents said.

“His heart is really sharing the gospel,” Yutuc said.

In his 22 years, Yutuc said his only son affected many lives.

“I know we have a great son, but I didn’t know the extent of his influence,” Yutuc said.

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: Drivers concerned about safety on Buckman Bridge

It was unconditional, selfless love they said Greg will be most remembered by.

“He inspired us and we want to be an inspiration,” Yutuc said.

The family said the community support has been overwhelming.

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IHOP celebrating 60th birthday with pancakes for 60 cents

Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 10:48 AM

What You Need To Know: IHOP

Fresh off of admitting their name change to IHOb was a publicity stunt, IHOP is celebrating its 60th birthday with what it does best: pancakes.

The restaurant chain announced last week that it would give away 60-cent short stacks July 17 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to celebrate its birthday.

>> Read more trending news 

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“The IHOP name is synonymous with pancakes, pancakes, pancakes -- a rallying cry that sets our menu and our restaurants apart from every other dining destination,” IHOP Chief Marketing Officer Brad Haley said in a July 10 news release. “To celebrate six decades of pancakin’ and the love our guests have shown us since we first opened our doors back in 1958, we’re treating folks to a 60-cent short stack of our world-famous buttermilk pancakes -- the pancake that started it all -- on Tuesday, July 17.”

Related: IHOb goes back to IHOP, says it 'faked it to promote new burgers'

As with most offers of this kind, the price and participation varies by location. The offer is only available for dine-in customers and there is a limit of one 60-cent short stack per person.

Those interested in getting a short stack for 60 cents can contact their nearest IHOP about the offer at IHOP.com.

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Man tries to hire hitman to kill ex-wife for $10,000, Hawks tickets

Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 11:14 PM

Michael McEarchern, a Cobb County man man in Bartow County jail, promised $10,000 and two Atlanta Hawks tickets to anyone who would kill his ex-wife and her current boyfriend.
Bartow County Sheriff's Office
Michael McEarchern, a Cobb County man man in Bartow County jail, promised $10,000 and two Atlanta Hawks tickets to anyone who would kill his ex-wife and her current boyfriend.(Bartow County Sheriff's Office)

An Acworth inmate promised $10,000 and two Atlanta Hawks tickets to anyone who would kill his ex-wife and her current boyfriend. Word got around, including to an FBI informant.

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Michael Lawrence Dane McEarchern, 29, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday, according to federal court documents.

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McEarchern was in Bartow County jail during October on drug charges when he started circulating his the word that he wanted to hire a hitman.

The FBI found out from the confidential informant and they had McEarchern send a $800 down payment to a P.O. box in late November to see if he was serious, according to federal court records. His girlfriend at the time sent the money for him.

McEarchern told the would-be assassin where his ex-wife lived in Smyrna, what the best time of day would be to find her, and the name of the barbershop where the current boyfriend worked.

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McEarchern was indicted on charges in the murder-for-hire plot at the start of the year. He pleaded guilty and was convicted in late April.

Federal court documents show he’ll have three years of supervised release after prison.

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