After President Donald Trump made a surprise visit to Ramstein Air Base in Germany and Al Asad Air Base in Iraq this week, CNN aired a segment seemingly attacking military personnel for having Trump sign "Make America Great Again" hats.
But on Thursday, U.S. Air Forces Europe issued a stern statement rebuking any suggestion troops had violated military rules.
What did CNN claim?
As the Daily Wire reported, during Wednesday's airing of "The Situation Room," CNN's Jim Acosta asked retired Rear Adm. John Kirby — who served as the spokesman for the State Department in the Obama administration — whether the action of asking Trump to sign "MAGA" hats violated Department of Defense guidance on partisan activity.
"It is in fact a campaign slogan, that is a campaign item, and it is completely inappropriate for the troops to do this," Kirby claimed.
Indeed, Department of Defense guidelines bar active duty military personnel from engaging in "partisan political activities" to "avoid the inference that their political activities imply or appear to imply DoD sponsorship, approval, or endorsement of a political candidate, campaign, or cause."
However, what happened Wednesday did not violate military rules, commanders said.
What did US commanders say?
"There is no rule against Airmen bringing personal items to be signed by the president," USAFE said in a statement, according to Stars and Stripes.
"Any time the commander in chief offers the opportunity to meet with Airmen, such as this official holiday visit by the President and First Lady, Airmen are welcome to participate. No policy violations have been brought to our attention at this time," USAFE explained.
Military.com noted that troops only held the hats for Trump to sign, never wearing them while in uniform.