President Trump speaks in West Virginia
President Donald Trump speaks during a salute to service dinner at the Greenbrier Resort on June 3, 2018 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The president was participating in a military tribute on the eve of Independence Day.
Mark Wilson, Getty Images

On the eve of Independence Day, President Donald Trump spoke at a "Salute to Service" dinner in West Virginia saluting the military, America's history — and the work of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. 

Trump spent most of his time at the Tuesday dinner, which was held in conjunction with a golf tournament at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, commemorating the Fourth of July and military service. He honored those who died to keep the nation safe and the founding fathers who created a new Republic. 

Trump extolled on the joys of golf before turning political as he spoke of his upcoming Supreme Court pick and the firestorm centered on immigration. He spoke for 26 minutes.  

Saying "we want border security," Trump bashed Democrats and shut down those who have called for eliminating or curbing ICE amid of the controversy of separating migrant children from their families. 

"We're not abandoning ICE and we're not abandoning our law enforcement," he told the crowd. 

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Trump said the men and women who work at the agency are "tough people" and compared their job to that of service members during a war. 

"It's like you're liberating a town, like in a war. You're liberating a town or an area," Trump said. 

Standing in front of flags depicting branches of the military, Trump cited this year's congressional elections in introducing local election officials. They included West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin. 

Claiming that "the polls have it very close," Trump told the crowd filled with veterans and professional golfers that "you may be surprised" by how well Morrisey does against Manchin, who did not attend the dinner.

Trump also discussed  the economy, rebuilding the military, efforts to improve veterans health care, alleged "fake news," and his proposed "Space Force." 

He also teased to Monday's planned announcement of a new Supreme Court justice, telling the crowd his pick will be a "home run." Over the last few days, Trump has interviewed several potential picks, including several women. 

The owner of golf resorts also introduced some of the professional players in town for the tournament, including Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley, John Daly, and Phil Mickelson. He told anecdotes about the golfers, and referred back to them at several points. 

Noting that he won West Virginia by more than 40 percentage points in the 2016 election, Trump said, "that's like one of these genius golfers winning by 9."