President Donald Trump told a crowd of Marines he may want to start a new ‘Space Force,’ and said Hillary Clinton never would have pushed forward a mission to Mars.
Positioned in front of a Marine F/A-18 Hornet, Trump called space a ‘war-fighting domain’ – and talked up both its military importance and the merits of private ventures.
‘Space is a war-fighting domain just like the land, air, and sea,’ Trump said Tuesday as he spoke to troops at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, where he spoke to the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232, nicknamed the ‘Red Devils.’
‘We may even have a Space Force, develop another one – Space Force,’ Trump said. ‘We have the Air Force, you’ll have the Space Force. You have the Army, the Navy …’ he said, taking on a playful tone.
UNIVERSAL: ‘Space is a war-fighting domain just like the land, air, and sea,’ Trump said
Trump himself wasn’t entirely clear on whether he was kidding, but some advisors apparently lapped up the idea.
‘I was saying it the other day. I said maybe we need a new force, you call it the Space Force,’ Trump recounted, likely referencing a cabinet meeting that included models of spacecraft.
‘And I was not really serious, and they said, ‘What a great idea! Maybe we’ll have to do that.’
Then Trump ribbed the press for preparing to blast off with a story he fueled.
‘That could happen – that could be the big breaking story, look at all those people back there,’ he said, getting a roar out of the crowd with his shot at the media.
President Donald Trump arrives to speak to military personnel at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California on March 13, 2018
AIM HIGH: President Donald Trump speaks to military personnel at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California on March 13, 2018. He touted a possible ‘Space Force’
Trump also blasted 2016 rival Hillary Clinton.
‘We are finally going to lead again,’ Trump said.
‘Very soon we’re going to Mars. You wouldn’t be going to Mars if my opponent won. That, I can tell you. You wouldn’t even be thinking about it.’
Clinton took positions in favor of space exploration, but frequently told the story of writing a letter to NASA at age 13 about becoming an astronaut, only to be rejected.
Trump also rallied the troops and ran through the wars where Marines had fought, though he curiously left out Vietnam and instead mentioned Marine John Glenn’s work in the space program.
NEW FRONTIER: Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, left, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, center, listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Thursday, March 8, 2018. Trump spoke about private space flight at the meeting
TALL ORDER: Earlier, Trump speaks while participating in a tour of U.S.-Mexico border wall prototypes near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California
Trump received five military deferments for Vietnam.
When he talked about the Korean War, Trump took a detour to the invitation he accepted to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jon-un.
‘Hopefully something positive will come out of it Hopefuly something very positive’s gonna come out of it,’ Trump said. ‘We will see.’
‘We’re prepared for anything. We always have to be prepared for anything, right? I really believe something positive could happen. Great for Korea, North and South, and great for the world and great for this country,’ Trump said.
Last year, two lawmakers, Republican Reps. Mike Rogers of Alabama and Democrat Jim Cooper of Tennessee called for creating a Space Corps, Fox News reported.
The stated purpose was ‘to ensure prioritization of the space domain by creating a U.S. Space Corps as a separate military service within the Department of the Air Force and under the civilian leadership of the Secretary of the Air Force.’
‘The Trump administration is committed to a policy of peace through strength,’ the president told gathered Marines.
He deployed some used car lingo, saying new CH-53K King Stallion helicopters were being delivered. ‘You’re getting them, brand new, right off the lot,’ he said.
He once again bashed the Iran deal, after highlighting it earlier as an area of disagreement with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom he fired.
‘Behind every problem is Iran,’ Trump said. ‘Well, we’re dealing with it in a very serious fashion one of the worst things I’ve seen is the Iran deal. One hundred and fifty billion dollars we gave them – for what?’