Trump is third American president to visit Iraq

President Trump in Iraq

President Trump in Iraq

President Trump visited the troops in Iraq at Al Asad Air Base on Christmas.

"It's time for us to start using our head", the president told reporters at the Al Asad Air Base west of Baghdad where he and first lady Melania Trump spent a little more than three hours on the ground with USA troops.

According to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, they made the trip late on Christmas night to thank the troops for their service, success and sacrifice.

During his three-plus hours on the ground, Trump did not meet with any Iraqi officials, but spoke on the phone with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.

"I had concerns about the institution of the presidency", Trump said in response to a question about the subject while in Iraq, via a pool report.

Trump has also taken flak from France and other foreign partners and senior figures in his own Republican party. He also said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to battle "any remnants of ISIS" in Syria, which shares a border with Turkey.

If it aided troop morale, there was no harm in this gesture other than its cost and the continuation of a long tradition of political exploitation of the USA military.

Trump said it's because of USA military gains that he can withdraw 2,000 forces from Syria.

Donald Trump in Iraq
President Donald Trump visits with members of the military at a dining hall at Al Asad Air Base Iraq on Dec. 26 2018

Trump follows a long tradition of presidents visiting troops overseas.

"A lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking", Trump said of his decision on Wednesday in remarks to a small group of reporters traveling with him.

The article itself, however, still incorrectly asserts that "by staying home on Tuesday, Trump became the first president since 2002 who didn't visit military personnel around Christmastime". "We don't want to be taken advantage of any more by countries that use us and use our incredible military to protect them". "It seemed like the president was more concerned... with reassuring Americans that he was trying to keep a campaign promise instead of actually telling us what he planned on doing". We've knocked them out.

He had faced criticism before for being the first USA president since 2002 not to visit the troops around Christmas.

With most of its regular hosts off for the holidays, The Five's guest hosts were more critical of the president than the usual lineup.

"It's time for us to start using our head", the president said. Since U.S. forces returned to Iraq in 2014, the base has played an important role in the fight against Islamic State because of its location. The Pentagon is also said to be developing plans to withdraw up to half of the 14,000 American troops still serving in Afghanistan.

Last month, Trump, who begins his third year in office next month, hinted he soon would visit troops deployed in a war zone.

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