“The visit lasted about three hours. He spoke to the troops for about 20 minutes, we are told."@barbarastarrcnn reports that Trump’s trip to Iraq was likely scheduled far in advance to ensure security measures were in place as he entered a war zone. https://t.co/HDb9WWNdwU pic.twitter.com/cmdnblh5tU
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) December 26, 2018
How bad must the PR sitch have been for them to haul ass over to Iraq when he could have been golfing.
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) December 26, 2018
Analysis | The stark contrast between Trump’s trip to Iraq and Obama’s 2009 visit https://t.co/zhfSEiMyPj
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) December 27, 2018
… Despite frequent praise for the U.S. military and the appointment of military leaders to Cabinet positions, it took Trump almost half of his first term as president to visit U.S. soldiers in a conflict zone.
In contrast, Obama’s trip to Iraq took place less than three months after he was inaugurated. He would go on to visit another conflict zone, Afghanistan, twice in his second year in office. Obama’s own predecessor, President George W. Bush, had also visited Iraq less than a year after the U.S.-led invasion of the country began in March 2003…
Last week, Trump announced that these soldiers would be coming home, as the Islamic State was defeated. “Our boys, our young women, our men, they’re all coming back, and they’re coming back now. We won,” Trump said in a video message on Twitter. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced his resignation soon afterward.
But as he visited Iraq on Wednesday, Trump had a very different message — again, a real contrast to Obama’s message nine years before — for the roughly 5,200 U.S. troops deployed in Iraq. The message was that this time, there was no immediate plan to withdraw U.S. soldiers from Iraq. “In fact, we could use this as the base if we wanted to do something in Syria,” the U.S. leader added.
— Kelly Heath (@kelly0318) December 28, 2018
… “Arrogant” and “a violation of national sovereignty” were but a few examples of the disapproval emanating from Baghdad following Trump’s meeting Wednesday with U.S. servicemen and women at the al-Asad Airbase.
Trips by U.S. presidents to conflict zones are typically shrouded in secrecy and subject to strict security measures, and Trump’s was no exception. Few in Iraq or elsewhere knew the U.S. president was in the country until minutes before he left.
But this trip came as curbing foreign influence in Iraqi affairs has become a hot-button political issue in Baghdad, and Trump’s perceived presidential faux-pas was failing to meet with the prime minister in a break with diplomatic custom for any visiting head of state…
While Trump didn’t meet with any officials, he spoke with Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi by phone. A planned meeting between the two leaders was canceled over a “difference in points of view” over arrangements, according to the prime minister’s office.
The visit could have unintended consequences for American policy, with officials from both sides of Iraq’s political divide calling for a vote in Parliament to expel U.S. forces from the country…
Didn’t even go over so well with his intended Fox News audience, either…
Fox News hits Trump for turning troop visit into "campaign rally:" They "deserve way more respect than that" https://t.co/Z3UOt5sMBy
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) December 27, 2018
— Avi Bueno (@AviAhvee) December 26, 2018
The saddest thing about all this is he's so fucking egotistical that as he was handing these garbage hats out, he was definitely thinking "they have such a hard time here, this should make it better."
— Avi Bueno (@AviAhvee) December 26, 2018
District sales manager of the year takes a bow. pic.twitter.com/8XhiSTcOjM
— Schooley (@Rschooley) December 26, 2018
call me a cynic but it’s very hard to believe this trip would’ve happened if he’d been golfing at Mar-a-Lago as planned instead of in DC rage-tweeting during a gov’t shutdown and headlines like these ¯\_(?)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/KF6St6j63q
— shauna (@goldengateblond) December 26, 2018
And you may find yourself in a beautiful White House, with a beautiful third wife
And you may ask yourself, "Well… how did I get here?"
And you may insist to yourself: "NO COLLUSION." pic.twitter.com/JE8T9ivB3C
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) December 27, 2018