President Donald Trump arrived in Iraq late on Christmas Day to meet with U.S. troops, the White House revealed Wednesday.
What are the details?
According to a tweet from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, President Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived in Iraq 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."
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. pic.twitter.com/s2hntnRwpw
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) December 26, 2018
Trump also tweeted out a video of himself and Melania meeting with troops at the Al Asad Air Base, set to Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA"
.@FLOTUS Melania and I were honored to visit our incredible troops at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq. GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.! pic.twitter.com/rDlhITDvm1
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2018
Trump had previously faced criticism for not visiting troops in Iraq or Afghanistan. Former President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush had made numerous trips to Iraq and Afghanistan.
In November, Trump told Fox News that he had not been able to visit any troops overseas yet by that point in his presidency because of his "unbelievably busy schedule." He also told The Associated Press that month that while he planned on visiting the troops "at some point," he did not "think it's overly necessary."
This visit comes just a week after Trump announced that he would be pulling troops out of Syria and reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan. It also follows the abrupt resignation, and subsequent firing, of Defense Secretary James Mattis, and the resignation of Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the coalition fighting ISIS.
Mattis and McGurk both resigned due to opposition to Trump pulling U.S. forces out of Syria, which both saw as an abandonment of our regional allies.