Trump visits troops in Iraq

Trump visits troops in Iraq

Trump visits troops in Iraq

President Trump visited American military forces in Iraq on Wednesday, a surprise trip and the first visit to troops stationed overseas in a combat zone by a commander in chief who has made withdrawing the United States from foreign wars a signature issue.

Speaking to troops at Al Asad Air Base, the President said that he had no plans to pull out troops from Iraq, which he said the United States could use as a staging ground in the heart of the Middle East from which to combat Iran, or re-enter Syria. "I got you a big one".

"We just got you a big pay raise".

Though Trump's address to U.S. forces in Iraq caused yet more embarrassment after it was revealed that the 10% pay rise he boasted that he had given troops had not really happened. Trump's pay raise was 2.4 percent, in line with similar raises that have been provided every year over the past decade.

One US military official and the White House maintained Thursday that the campaign gear signed by Trump had been brought to the event by the troops, a distinction they argued indicates that the items were personal, rather than political in nature. I got you a big one. In 2019, it will be 2.6%, thanks to the Fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

President Donald Trump returned to the White House on Thursday after making an unannounced trip to Iraq to visit USA troops stationed there.


"They said: 'You know, we could make it smaller".

Trump told his audience in Iraq that the decision to withdraw the roughly 2,000 troops from Syria illustrated his quest to put "America first". We can make it 4 percent.' I said, 'No. On Wednesday, Trump used the phrase "in more than 10 years" four times.

"We're no longer the suckers, folks", Trump said at al-Asad Air Base, about 100 miles west of Baghdad.

Trump's visit comes amid a backdrop of escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran, as Washington seeks to counter Iran's sway in the Middle East.

Trump's visit to Iraq came a day after he held a video conference from the Oval Office with military members around the globe. While 5,000 U.S. troops are now there, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle demanded that they leave on the grounds that his spontaneous appearance was arrogant and violated their nation's sovereignty, according to the Associated Press. So, with all that going on, the president wants to be seen as someone who's being a commander in chief, who's taking charge, who is supporting troops.

Officials say the withdrawal plan will have to be approved by the Secretary of Defense and it's possible that it may be up to Pat Shanahan, the department's number two official, to approve the plan when he becomes the new acting defense secretary on January 1, after Mattis' departure.

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