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State Dining Room

7:53 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much, everybody.  Please, sit down.  Enjoy your evening.  It’s a very special evening.

And I want to thank Melania for working with her friends in the room to make this so very, very unique and, again, very, very special.

This is a house like no other.  It’s a house that encumbers so many different titles, from beauty to warmth to power, sometimes to coldness — I’ve heard that.  (Laughter.)  But it’s an amazing, incredible place.

And to have the White House Historical Association and all of our board members and everybody involved, and to raise all of the money that we’ve raised tonight, we just want to thank you very much.

We just got back from Florida.  It’s been a rough time for Florida.  But the first responders and the Coast Guard, and to all of the people — FEMA — all of the people that worked so hard have done an A-plus job.

You know, we had — as you know very well, some of you are from Texas and some of you are from Florida.  And you both got hit.  In Texas you got hit with the largest amount of water anybody has ever seen.  I guess the largest ever recorded.  And in Florida you got hit with the strongest winds ever recorded.  It actually hit the Keys with a — it was a Category 5.  I never even knew a Category 5 existed.  And they suffered greatly.

But in both bases, and in other cases such as Alabama, Louisiana, and plenty of others — Puerto Rico; the Virgin Islands was hit brutally, brutally.  It got hit dead center with a strong five.  And it’s almost not standing, but the people are standing.  And some incredible things have happened.

But I just want to turn it over to Melania.  This is, again, a place that I’ve grown to love and respect.  You go to the Oval Office, and I’ve had the biggest men — we have some of the biggest businesspeople, men and women.  I must say, some of the women are bigger than the men — (laughter) — but I won’t say it too loudly.  I’m actually impressed with some of the women far more than some of the men, but that’s okay.

But I’ve had the biggest men and women from business and other fields come into the Oval Office.  And they have magnificent offices, they have beautiful offices on the best — 5th Avenue and Park Avenue, the best locations.  Most beautiful places you’ve ever seen.  And they walk into that Oval Office and they think that there’s nothing like it — and there really is nothing like it.

So even Phil Ruffin and Richard LeFrak, and where’s my Howard?  Howard and — there he is.  And you’re looking good, Howard.  You had a rough bout, and now you’re a thousand percent.  So it’s good to have you back with us.  But we have so many friends.

And again, thank you very much.  Thank you for all you do.  And I’m going to just turn this over to the star of the Trump family.  She’s become the big — they love her out there, I’ll tell you.  I was — we walked all over Florida, we walked all over Texas, and they’re loving Melania.  And she just enjoys helping out with what she’s doing and working with you folks.

So thank you all very much.  Fantastic honor.  (Applause.)

7:57 P.M. EDT