Pres. Trump, First Lady Make Surprise Visit to Troops in Iraq
POTUS to troops: 'we're respected again as a nation.'
President Trump and the first lady paid a surprise visit to troops in Iraq Wednesday, Trump's first visit to a war zone since taking office.
Speaking to service members, the president said the United States "is no longer the suckers, folks," adding that "the nations of the region must step up and take more responsibility for their future."
"We’re respected again as a nation," he told the troops, according to Associated Press.
As Fox News reported, Trump was joined by National Security Adviser John Bolton at Al Asad Air Base for meetings with military leaders.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted that Trump's visit was made to thank troops for their service, success and sacrifice.
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 reportedly said he has "no plans at all" to remove U.S. troops from Iraq, a statement that former CIA Station Chief Daniel Hoffman said is important.
"We're not quite done with ISIS geographic space in Iraq and Syria, so there's more work to be done there," he said on "The Daily Briefing."
Trump's visit occurred a week after he tweeted that ISIS had been "defeated" in Syria, which he said was his sole reason for being there during his presidency.
We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2018
All of roughly 2,000 American troops were ordered out of Syria, Fox News was told last weekend. Trump's order prompted the resignation last week of Defense Secretary James Mattis, who cited his foreign policy differences in a letter to the president.
Hoffman said that Iran is attempting to mold Iraq politically, something the United States is looking to counter.
Watch more on the developing story above.