( CNN) President Donald Trump advised the audience before him on Tuesday to support a Missouri Republican's Senate campaign, smeared Democrats and alerted the crowd not to “believe the crap you hear from( the media .) “

Past US chairwomen have typically focused their statements at the annual veteran's event on policy issues, leaving little room for partisan political assaults or political endorsements. President Barack Obama, though, in 2015 used his speech to take shots at Republican over their budget proposal at the time.

Politics were on Trump's mind as he began his speech — which was welcomed with raucous cheers and at times boos aimed at the Democrat Trump attacked — by remarking that the roll call of “nay” votes on his Veterans Affairs secretary's confirmation amounted to a listing of Democrats who will likely challenge him in 2020.