Donald Trump on Saturday at the annual Army-Navy football game praised the athletes on the field and the service academies’ students in the stands whom he’ll soon command as president, calling them “amazing people.”
“You don’t see this kind of spirit everywhere,” Trump, the Republican president-elect, said during halftime of the game in Baltimore. “Just amazing people.”
He also said the experience of becoming president and knowing he would lead such great men and women was “humbling” and also a “great honor and responsibility.”
“They want to be strong,” Trump said.
Trump otherwise largely kept the conversation with the CBS commentators light and chatty, going along with the idea of making Vern Lundquist the U.S. ambassador to Sweden.
“I couldn’t do better,” he said. “I think you could (pass Senate confirmation.) I think Sweden would be very happy.”
He also talked briefly about owning the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League and called Super Bowl MVP New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath a “great star.”
Trump spent the first half of the game in the box of David Urban, a West Point graduate and Republican adviser. He spent the second half in the box of retired Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, a graduate of Annapolis and Fox News contributor.
A Trump transition official said before kickoff that Trump would not formally switch sides at halftime in the traditional symbol of commander-in-chief neutrality because he is not the sitting president.
Trump was expected at the game to join several advisers, including incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and senior adviser Steve Bannon.
Trump is a 1964 graduate of the New York Military Academy, near West Point, in upstate New York.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.