The president, Donald Trump, left the “solitude”, according to his own words, who lives in the White House on the fifth day of the partial closure of the Administration and surprised today with a visit to the troops deployed in Iraq.
Following a tradition that the tenants of the White House have followed since 2002, Trump and his wife, Melania, traveled on Christmas night to Al Assad air base, located west of Baghdad, on the first visit of the US ruler. to fighters stationed abroad.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the visit on Twitter and said that Trump traveled to thank the troops and the military command in charge of the mission in Iraq “for his service, his success and his sacrifice” and to “wish you a Merry Christmas”.
Shortly after Trump himself confirmed on Twitter that he “had the honor” of visiting the troops in Iraq accompanied by the first lady.
“God bless the United States!” Said Trump in his account on the social network, where he posted a video about his stay.
Already during his trip Trump stressed that the visit to the military in Iraq wants to pay his respects to “the great soldiers” who remain in the Arab country.
“It’s a place I’ve been talking about for many years,” he said.
The announcement silenced some of the criticisms that were heard in Washington about the possibility that Trump had not complied with the traditional visit to the troops at Christmas, a celebration that this year was marked by the confrontation that the president has with the Democrats for funding of a wall on the border with Mexico.
“I am alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to return and make a deal,” the US president tweeted on December 24.
However, this Wednesday Trump dressed in a dark suit and red tie next to a Melania, dressed in a mustard-colored blouse, shook hands with the uniformed and smiled for the improvised photos that the soldiers took with their mobiles, according to several videos and Photographs published by himself and Sanders on Twitter.
The visit also served as a platform for Trump to defend the withdrawal of troops from neighboring Syria, where 2,000 soldiers are deployed as part of an international coalition against the terrorist group Islamic State (IS).
“We have knocked them out,” said Trump, referring to what he has proclaimed as “defeat” of the IS in Syria.
He stressed that he has held “very good conversations” with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of whom he said he also wants to “knock out” the IS and anticipated that he will, like others.
“The United States can not continue to be the policeman of the world,” repeated Trump, who opposed some countries using the United States. and his military credibility to protect himself.
“They do not pay for it and they will have to do it,” added the president, who described as “ridiculous” that the troops are in “countries that most people have not even heard of.”
Trump had planned to hold a meeting on Wednesday with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdelmahdi, which was finally canceled.
The Iraqi government claimed that the prime minister had planned to meet with Trump, but they did not do so for lack of agreement.
The press office of the head of the Iraqi Government reported in a statement that, due to these differences, it was decided to replace the meeting in person by a telephone call.
“It was supposed to be an official reception and a meeting between Prime Minister Adel Abdelmahdi and the US president, but there was a divergence of opinions to organize the meeting, which was replaced by a telephone conversation,” the statement said.
The Baghdad executive said he was aware of Trump’s visit and said that, in addition to visiting the troops, Trump intended to “congratulate the new Iraqi government”, set up a month ago.
The Pentagon has deployed some 5,200 soldiers in Iraq, one of the countries where the international coalition led by Washington acts to defeat the IS (EFEUSA).