President Donald Trump spoke at a memorial for September 11 victims in Shanksville, Pennsylvania on Tuesday and paused awkwardly waiting for applause that didn’t come during his apparent attempt to invoke a culture war.
Trump flew to a memorial in the field where the wreckage of Flight 93 crash landed to give a speech.
Trump told the story of Flight 93 and said that these heroes were symbolic of American defiance.
“This line is a message to the world that America will never, ever submit to tyranny,” Trump said to the loudest applause of the day.
A minute later, Trump pivoted back to the point and said 9/11 was the start of a battle we’re still fighting.
“Nearly 7,000 American service members have died facing down the menace of radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump said, pausing awkwardly for applause that never came.
Among the light smattering of applause was one loud clapper that appeared to have only been audible because it was captured by a microphone.
On Twitter, Trump’s supporters delighted in his politicization of the memorial event while others denounced him.
Trump in Shanksville talks of U.S. troops fighting “the menace of radical Islamic terrorism” — a controversial campaign catchphrase he didn’t use in last year’s 9/11 observance
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) September 11, 2018
Thank you to @realDonaldTrump for actually calling it radical Islamic terrorism.
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) September 11, 2018
President Trump was giving a good speech, apolitical, sober, not about himself, a speech we could expect a normal but uninspiring President to give on #September11th. But then he had to throw in “radical Islamic terrorism,” as if to say “don’t worry, guys, I’m still an asshole.”
— Robert Murphy (@robertemilem) September 11, 2018
The radical Islamic terrorist line didnt get the reaction I know he wanted.
— Arleen🇺🇸 (@ArleenFarina) September 11, 2018
Watch the segment of the speech below.