President Donald Trump said on Tuesday American troops are "doing well" in Iraq and the U.S. is making progress in its fight against ISIS.

"We are doing well. I just had long call with Gen. Mattis," Trump told a group of senators and their spouses gathered at the White House yesterday.

"We are doing really well in Iraq. Our soldiers are fighting, and fighting like never before, and the results are very good, so I just wanted to let everyone know," Trump said.

But the comment about U.S. troops "fighting like never before," drew immediate criticism, including a sharp rebuke from Montel Williams, a Marine and Navy veteran. 

At a press briefing on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked about Trump's statement.

CNN's Jim Acosta noted that American troops are now in the country primarily to "advise and assist" Iraqi forces.

"Does that take into consideration what happened during the Bush and Obama administrations when they were fighting house to house?" he asked.

Spicer said Trump was expressing his pride in the work that our soldiers and sailors are doing in Iraq, specifically in taking back Mosul from ISIS. 

"I think the progress that's being made in Iraq and the fight against ISIS is going extremely well and he's proud of it," said Spicer, adding that the comment did not mean that the president believes U.S. troops are "in combat" in Iraq.

Watch the exchange above, and relive Spicer's memorable "Russian dressing" quip from Tuesday's press briefing.


Dem State Rep Warns Illegal Immigrants About Upcoming ICE 'Raid'

Chris Matthews Compares Ivanka, Jared Kushner to Saddam Hussein's Sons

Sen. McCain Says Select Committee Must Be Formed to Probe Trump & Russia