While addressing the U.S. Central Command in Florida on Feb. 6, President Donald Trump pledged to update and bolster the military. Throughout the presidential campaign, Trump had criticized current military funding, characterizing it as inadequate.
"You've been lacking equipment," Trump said, according to the New York Post. "We're going to load it up. We're gonna be loading it up with beautiful new equipment."
The president asserted that his administration "have your back, every hour, every day, now and always."
Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump had pledged to significantly increase budgetary funding for defense, describing the U.S. military as a "disaster."
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"Our military is depleted, and we're asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming," Trump said in April 2016, according to NPR.
Despite having earlier that day blasted his negative polling numbers as fabricated, Trump referenced his positive polling among military service members.
"We had a wonderful election, didn't we?" Trump told the audience. "I saw those numbers. And you like me and I like you."
In September 2016, an NBC/SurveyMonkey poll found that 55 percent of active and retired military service members supported Trump while only 36 percent preferred former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
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Before addressing Central Command, Trump dismissed polling after a CNN/ORC survey found that a majority of respondents opposed both his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and his executive order placing a travel ban on refugees and citizens from several Muslim-majority countries, Fox News reports.
"Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election," Trump tweeted out.
On Jan. 12, Secretary of Defense James Mattis stated during his confirmation hearing before the Senate that he would like for military readiness to be increased during his tenure.
"My belief is we have to stay focused on a military so lethal that on a battlefield it will be an enemy's longest day and worst day when they run into that force ... My concern is with the readiness of force," Mattis said, according to CNN.