defends Christopher Columbus statues

President Donald argued Tuesday that American history must be preserved, not torn down, as he waded into a controversy involving Christopher Columbus statues.

was reflecting on the nation's heritage at a conservative dinner this evening in Washington.

'Now they are even trying to destroy statues of Christopher Columbus. What's next? Has to be stopped,' he said.

used the speech before a red meat audience to touch on a variety of his favorite topics, including the American flag, the national anthem and the phrase 'Merry Christmas.'

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President Donald Trump argued Tuesday that American history must be preserved, not torn down, as he waded into a controversy involving Christopher Columbus statues

President Donald argued Tuesday that American history must be preserved, not torn down, as he waded into a controversy involving Christopher Columbus statues

He also promised health care reform and tax reform, an effort he pegged to his daughter Ivanka, a White House adviser.

began his remarks with look back at the 'heartbreaking tragedies' in the U.S. over the past month, 'from the catastrophic storms, to the devastating wild fires, to the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas.'

'We're reminded that no destructive force on earth is stronger than the courage character and love of the American people,' said. 'This is a time of great challenge for the world but also a time of great opportunity.'

The United States is faced with a chance to tap into the creative power of its people, he said.

'But to achieve these great things, we must hold fast to the values that define who we are as a people and as a nation. Everyone here tonight is united by these same enduring beliefs.

'We believe that the Constitution is the greatest political document in human history and that judges should interpret the Constitution as written,' he said to loud applause and cheering.

brought up the statues of Christopher Columbus and said: 'We believe that we should preserve our history, not tear it down.'

'We believe that America is a nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws, and we support

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