Trump Surprises U.S. Troops with Holiday Visit to Iraq

The president, joined by first lady Melania Trump, traveled to see our servicemen and women — something few knew about

Image Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump took time during a very busy Christmas week to make a surprise visit to soldiers in Iraq on Wednesday.

Trump has a lot on his plate — including the ongoing partial government shutdown and concern about the stock market, although the latter bounced back big-time on Wednesday.

But the president did make the time to visit military personnel stationed at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq.

The president was joined by his wife, first lady Melania Trump.

“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,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a tweet on Wednesday.

She went on to include other video — as did the president himself.

Do you support individual military members being able to opt out of getting the COVID vaccine?

By completing the poll, you agree to receive emails from LifeZette, occasional offers from our partners and that you've read and agree to our privacy policy and legal statement.

Trump had been unusually quiet over the past day, between his social media presence and the seeming lack of activity at the White House.

The dearth of information sparked speculation about what the president might be up to, reported the New York Post.

He hadn’t tweeted in over 17 hours, there were no press aides in the media office, and lights were turned off on the second floor of the White House.

Al Asad was formerly an Iraqi regime air base until it was taken over by U.S. troops during the 2003 invasion, reported NPR.

It became a key strategic base of operations for the Marine Corps and coalition operations in the Anbar Province.

The base still hosts smaller detachments of troops supporting the fight against ISIS and operations in Syria.

Trump has been a vocal supporter of the troops even with his opposition to various conflicts in which the U.S. is engaged.

But the surprise trip is the first such visit by the current president since he took office nearly two years ago. Trump explained during an interview in November that the reason for his lack of visits was his unbelievably busy schedule.

Related: Paul Gives Spirited Defense of Trump’s Decision to Pull Troops Out of Syria, Afghanistan

“There are things that are being planned,” Trump told Fox News host Chris Wallace at the time.

“We don’t want to talk about it because of, obviously because of security reasons and everything else,” he added. “But there are things that are planned. As you know, I was very much opposed to the war in Iraq. I think it was a tremendous mistake, should have never happened.”

Related: Trump Faces GOP Backlash Over Troop Reductions in Syria and Afghanistan

Trump and the first lady landed on a darkened airstrip after a secret overnight flight from Washington, D.C. They remained for about three hours on the ground, where they greeted and took pictures with servicemen and women in their dining hall, reported CNN.

Check out this video:

Join the Discussion

COMMENTS POLICY: We have no tolerance for messages of violence, racism, vulgarity, obscenity or other such discourteous behavior. Thank you for contributing to a respectful and useful online dialogue.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments