NATIONAL HARBOR, Md./WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump said he would make a massive budget request for one of the "greatest military buildups in American history" on Friday in a feisty, campaign-style speech extolling robust nationalism to eager conservative activists.
Trump used remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an organization that gave him one of his first platforms in his improbable journey to the US presidency, to defend his unabashed "America first" policies.
Ahead of a nationally televised speech to Congress on Tuesday, Trump outlined plans for strengthening the US military, already the world's most powerful fighting force, and other initiatives such as tax reform and regulatory rollback.
Trump said he would aim to upgrade the military in both offensive and defensive capabilities, with a massive spending request to Congress that would make the country's defense "bigger and better and stronger than ever before."
"And, hopefully, we’ll never have to use it, but nobody is going to mess with us. Nobody. It will be one of the greatest military buildups in American history," Trump said.
His speech was heavy on the nationalist overtones from his campaign last year, focusing on promises to boost US economic growth by retooling international trade deals, cracking down on immigration and boosting energy production.