President Trump stayed after his commencement speech at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs Thursday to shake hands with nearly 1,000 graduating cadets.

Trump, who wasn’t scheduled to return to Washington until late evening, said he would stick around, despite his advisors telling him he didn’t have to.

“They gave me a choice. They said, ‘Sir, you don’t have to shake any hands, some people do that,’” Trump told the audience.

“You can shake one hand, to the one person, top of the class. You can shake 10, 50 or 100, and you could also stay for 1,000, OK?” Trump said to cheers.

During his commencement, Trump told the graduating cadets: “To dominate the future, America must rule the skies. And that is what your time at this great academy has been all about – preparing you to do whatever it takes to learn, to adapt and to win, win, win.”

Trump also pardoned the pranksters and mischief makers, a tradition for presidents speaking to graduating cadets.


“So keeping with tradition and as your commander-in-chief, I hereby absolve and pardon, all cadets serving restrictions and confinements,” Trump said. “And that you earned, you earned it.”