‘There’s nowhere I’d rather celebrate this Thanksgiving than right here with the toughest, strongest, best and bravest warriors on the face of the earth…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) For the second year in a row, President Donald Trump made a surprise holiday visit to support troops stationed abroad.
Following last year’s secret Christmas Day trip to Iraq and Germany, Trump spent his Thanksgiving visiting troops in Afghanistan, CBS News reported.
Video of the event, which Trump later posted on Twitter, showed the president being well received by the service members and helping to serve them their Thanksgiving dinner.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! pic.twitter.com/7SGZnHindW
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2019
“There’s nowhere I’d rather celebrate this Thanksgiving than right here with the toughest, strongest, best and bravest warriors on the face of the earth—you are indeed that,” Trump told the troops.
CBS said the president flew into Bagram Air Field shortly after 8:30 p.m. local time. His visit—lasting about two and a half hours—also included a meeting with Afghani President Ashraf Ghani.
Trump confirmed during the visit that the U.S. had resumed peace talks with the Taliban. Prior talks stalled due to the radical Islamist’s group’s refusal to make some deal-breaker concessions.
A discussion about hosting the longtime U.S. enemy at Camp David was said to have contributed to the departure of former national security adviser John Bolton.
“The Taliban wants to make a deal, and we’re meeting with them and we’re saying it has to be a ceasefire, and they didn’t want to do a ceasefire, and now they do want to do a ceasefire,” Trump said. “I believe it’ll probably work out that way.”
The president also told reporters that he hoped to reduce the number of troops stationed there from 14,000 to 8,600.
Trump’s visit came on the heels of several recent casualties in the country. Two Army officers, Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle, 33, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr., 25, died last week in a helicopter crash. And over the weekend a civilian aid worker, Anil Raj of San Francisco, died in an attack on a U.N. vehicle in the capital city of Kabul, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described as “unconscionable.”
Trump’s public schedule indicated that he would be at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, conducting a conference call with troops. The visit went unannounced for security purposes.
However, Trump’s trip last Christmas also effectively trolled many in the liberal media who had pointedly criticized him for ignoring the troops.
At least one publication, the far-left Newsweek, appeared to fall for the ruse again. Trump retweeted a screenshot his son, Donald Trump Jr., had posted that showed the once-reputable news magazine attacking him.
Fake news gonna fake! pic.twitter.com/ykmlenbFLi
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 28, 2019
Newsweek posted a revised story at 6:17 p.m. Thursday that was stealth-edited with the same timestamp. A note at the bottom noted the revision but made no reference to the earlier error.