Trump Visits Troops In Iraq Who Did Nothing To Deserve It
Oval Office squatter Donald Trump and designer imposter first lady Melania Trump paid a surprise trip Wednesday to troops stationed in Iraq. This allowed members of the armed forces currently in harm's way to see with their own eyes that their commander in chief is a total moron. I'm told this is somehow a great comfort to them. There are those who suggest Trump only made this trip because he's been called out for being the first president since 2002 not to visit troops in a combat zone. They are just cynics or people with the short term memory and critical thinking necessary to observe obvious patterns and draw conclusions from them.
Trump has had a lousy week. He was outed as a draft dodger yesterday. His defense secretary resigned in disgust over his bonehead military decisions. He couldn't even successfully spoil Christmas for small children. He needed a pick me up, and to borrow from a controversial Chris Rock routine, Trump always wants credit for shit he's supposed to do. Unfortunately, the media is more than willing to give it to him.
Chris Cuomo tweeted yesterday that the trip was a "good move" for Trump and he'll receive "warranted" positive coverage for this. Because why should the press scrutinize the obvious politics of Trump taking selfies with soldiers while federal employees at home aren't getting paid thanks to his shutdown of the government? If we didn't want the media to just roll over for the president, we should've elected Hillary Clinton.
Journalists should normalize a bizarre and abnormal President—even when he does the occasional thing he was prodded… https://t.co/mpl8ExN6Io— Soledad O'Brien (@Soledad O'Brien)1545883525.0
asked about any concerns he might've had about the trip. This led to a weird exchange.
TRUMP: I had concerns about the institution of the presidency. Not for myself personally.
You were a terrified little baby shouting for mommy for the duration of the flight.
TRUMP: I had concerns for the first lady, I will tell you
You didn't even notice Melanie had come along until you landed.
TRUMP: But if you would have seen what we had to go through with the darkened plane with all windows closed with no lights on whatsoever. Anywhere. Pitch black.
Probably scarier than stairs.
TRUMP: I've been on many airplanes. All types and shapes and sizes. I've never seen anything like it.
You probably flew commercial once in the mid-1980s.
.@MarthaRaddatz on surprise visit to U.S. troops in Iraq by President Trump and first lady Melania Trump: "I cannot… https://t.co/XDtNwF6ukj— ABC News Politics (@ABC News Politics)1545853868.0
Martha Raddatz of ABC News made the laughable suggestion that Melanie Trump was the first presidential spouse to visit a conflict zone. C'mon, y'all know Melanie ain't the first to do anything First Lady-related that's not stupid: Marrying an asshole with a Tribble on his head? She's an innovator. But no, I think the first thing she probably asked was whether other first ladies had done this before. That was likely her immediate question when people expected her to move into the White House.
For the record, despite Raddatz's Memento-itis, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Laura Bush have all visited troops in conflict zones. Michelle Obama frequently returned home to Chicago, which any Republican would tell you is practically a war zone. She also visited troops in Qatar.
Melanie, however, did have to endure this.
True loveNBC News
That might qualify her for a Medal of Freedom or even a Purple heart.
Trump spent about three hours at Al Asad Air Base west of Baghdad, where he passed out and signed MAGA hats. He defended his decision to withdraw troops from Syria: “We're no longer the suckers of the world." He ragged on Democrats and accused them of not caring about what the troops put their lives on the line to protect: "When you think about it, you're fighting for borders in other countries! And they don't want to fight, the Democrats, for the border of our country. It doesn't make a lot of sense."
He also lied to the troops about easily provable facts.
Is anybody here willing to give up the big pay raise you just got? You haven't gotten one in more than 10 years. More than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one.
They said, "You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3 percent. We could make it 2 percent. We could make it 4 percent," I said, "No. Make it 10 percent. Make it more than 10 percent.'"
Armed forces members have received a pay raise of at least 1 percent for the past 30 years. Their 2018 raise was the largest in eight years, not 10, and the raise was 2.4 percent not 10. He's big on the number 10. Liars who at least respect your intelligence bother mixing up the fake numbers.
The government however should at least consider a 10 percent raise for the troops who had to interact with Trump -- they already don't get to be with their families. Let's also double that for the troops Trump recklessly endangered. After leaving Iraqi airspace, Trump posted a video to his Twitter account that outed the location and identities of SEAL Time Five members who are deployed on a covert special ops mission.
Former US Navy intelligence specialist and friend of the mommyblog Malcolm Nance explained why this was dumb.
"Operational security is the most important aspect of personnel deployments. The real names, faces, and identities, of personnel involved in special operations or activities, are usually a closely held secret in a combat zone," Nance said. "Revealing them casually, through an unusual media exposure even if it's the commander in chief, would prove a propaganda boom if any of this personnel are detained by a hostile government or captured by a terrorist group. There would be no denying who you are and what you do."
On his way back to DC, Trump stopped in Ramstein, Germany where he met with troops and military leaders stationed there. He again autographed MAGA caps like he was at a rock concert, which violates all sorts of protocols and norms. But that's our Trump.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."