Trump speaks to thousands at “Namaste, Trump” rally on India trip

Addressing a massive audience, President Trump talks U.S.-India relationship during his trip abroad

Updated: February 24, 2020 - 1:21pm

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President Trump on Monday began his trip to India by addressing a reported 100,000 attendees at the world’s largest cricket stadium -- using the speech to strengthen his relationship with Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi and convey a message of friendship between the two nations.

“The first lady and I have just traveled 8,000 miles around the globe to deliver a message to every citizen across this nation: America loves India, America respects India, and America will always be faithful and loyal friends to the Indian people,” Trump said at the stadium, in Ahmedabad, India. 

The rally, titled “Namaste Trump," which translates into “Greeting Trump,” follows a 2019 rally in Houston that Trump hosted for Modi and at which the president called India “one of America's greatest, most-devoted and most-loyal friends.”

Trump’s two-day trip is expected to be more pomp than policy, including a tour of the renowned Taj Mahal. However, the president is expected to sign a deal Tuesday in which the U.S. will sell India, the world’s largest democracy, $3 billion in military helicopters and other equipment. 

The president on Monday also referred to a potential trade deal with India.

“We are in the early stages of discussion for an incredible trade agreement to reduce barriers of investment between the United States and India,” Trump said. “And I am optimistic that, working together, the prime minister and I can reach a fantastic deal that’s good, and even great, for both of our countries.”

The president also called Modi “a very tough negotiator.” 

Prior to the rally Monday, the president also visited the home of the late-Mohandas Gandhi, the world-renowned peace activist who helped India in the 1940s achieve its independence from Britain.