Hazen: Trump visits troops in Iraq!!!! I wonder who else he went to see?? I bet he’s saying, “ GET THIS DONE NOW!!!”
Dfweagle: Trump says (per Fox News) No plan for reduction in troops in Iraq! “No plans at all!” Hmmmm I wonder why??? Lol
Boxman: What i do find interesting is the stock market had been down all week and then the meeting of the leading bankers with Steve Mnuchin and now the president in Iraq…probably just a coincidence…..
KBC123: ‘m sure it is too Boxman….(wink)
S41755k: Another TADA moment for you Frank!!! Trump does not go anywhere since his Presidency without making some kind of a deal!
Clare: Trump, first lady in Iraq for surprise visit with troops
President Trump and the first lady appeared in Iraq on Wednesday for a surprise visit with troops and senior military leadership at Al Asad Air Base, where he said he has “no plans at all” to remove any of the 5,000 U.S. troops from the country.
Trump’s visit — his first as president to a combat zone — comes on the heels of his announcement about pulling troops out of Syria and the rumored removal of thousands of troops in Afghanistan.
The president was joined at the air base by National Security Adviser John Bolton for meetings with political and military leaders. The president spent around three hours on the ground with First Lady Melania Trump vesting U.S. Troops, according to Reuters.
“President Trump and the First Lady traveled to Iraq late on Christmas night to visit with our troops and Senior Military leadership to thank them for their service, their success, and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted.
Trump’s surprise visit to the region came a week after he declared ISIS had been “defeated” in Syria in a tweet and ordered all American diplomats and soldiers out of the country.
The U.S. first deployed troops to Syria in 2015 during the Obama administration as part of a partnership wi Outgoing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signed orders on Sunday to pull all American troops out of Syria in the coming weeks, a senior defense official told Fox News. Pentagon officials at the time refused to discuss specifics, including the timeline, citing operational security for the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria.
The president told reporters traveling with him that he wants to get U.S. soldiers home from Syria and that Iraq can still be used as a base to stage attacks on Islamic State militants if needed, according to the Associated Press.
Trump added that if needed, the U.S. can attack IS “so fast and so hard” that they “won’t know what the hell happened.”
“I think a lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking. It’s time for us to start using our head,” he told reporters.
Don961: 3:14 long video in article >>>
What message is President Trump sending with his unannounced visit to US troops deployed in Iraq?
Dec. 26, 2018 – 3:14 – President Trump’s surprise visit to Iraq comes on the heels of his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria; reaction and analysis from Michael Allen, managing director of Beacon Global Strategies. link
Don961: video in article… thank you Doc K
Trump makes surprise visit to U.S. troops in Iraq, his first to a combat zone
The president had been criticized for not having previously visited any combat zones while in office, unlike predecessors.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet military personnel during an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, on Dec. 26, 2018.Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
Dec. 26, 2018 / 1:22 PM CST / Updated 2:21 PM CST
By David K. Li and Dartunorro Clark
President Donald Trump made a surprise visit to American troops in Iraq on Wednesday, his first journey to an active combat zone since he took office.
The president, who was joined by first lady Melania Trump, spent three hours on the ground with U.S. forces and met with the U.S. ambassador and commanders on the ground.
The unannounced trip comes at a time of change in the region following the president’s announcement earlier this month that he will withdraw American troops from Syria — a heavily criticized move that prompted the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Trump said on Wednesday that he had “no plans at all” to remove U.S. forces from Iraq, while defending his decision to bring them home from Syria.
“I think a lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking. It’s time for us to start using our head,” Trump said at the Al-Asad Air Base west of Baghdad.
He said Iraq can still be used as a base to stage attacks on ISIS militants if needed, saying that the U.S. can attack “so fast and so hard” the terror group “won’t know what the hell happened,” the Associated Press reported.
Making his first visit to a troubled region, Trump said he was more concerned for the people accompanying him to Iraq than he was for himself, the AP reported. He made the 11-hour flight on a darkened Air Force One with lights off and window shades drawn, accompanied by military jet escorts.
Asked whether he’d had any concerns about the trip, Trump responded that he had been worried about the the institution of the presidency and first lady’s safety, as well as the night timing.
When the president entered the dining hall at the Al-Asad base, he received a standing ovation from troops present, according to reporters on scene.
Before Wednesday’s trip to Iraq, Trump had taken some heat from critics for being the first president since 2002 not to make a Christmastime visit to troops in 2018.
He was also criticized in November for canceling a trip to an American military burial ground outside Paris in November due to weather. Two days after that, he also skipped the traditional Veterans Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery.
The president admitted to Fox News’ Chris Wallace at the time that he should have gone to Arlington, and said he hadn’t visited a combat zone because he has “had an unbelievably busy schedule,” adding, “I will be doing it.”
In October, Trump told The Associated Press that he did not think it was “overly necessary” to visit a military base in a combat zone, such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I’ve been very busy with everything that’s taking place here,” Trump said, referring to domestic issues. “But it’s something I’d do. And do gladly. Nobody has been better at the military.”
At this point in their presidencies, President Barack Obama had visited troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and President George W. Bush had visited Iraq just eight months after the start of the war in 2003.
Trump has often tried to distance himself from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, referring to them as failures of his predecessors and describing the missions in both countries as “a total shame,” according to The Washington Post.link