Trump Signing MAGA Hats in Iraq May Have Violated Defense Department Rule

Trump Signing MAGA Hats in Iraq May Have Violated Defense Department Rule

Trump Signing MAGA Hats in Iraq May Have Violated Defense Department Rule

Trump made the surprise visit to US troops in Iraq on Wednesday, his first trip to a conflict zone almost two years into his presidency and days after announcing a pullout of American troops from neighboring Syria.

Air Force One flew overnight from Washington, landing at an airbase west of Baghdad under the cover of darkness on Wednesday evening.

The visit to the Al-Asad Airbase west of the capital, Baghdad, comes just a week after Trump unsettled his military advisers and worldwide allies, including in Iraq, by announcing that he would withdraw United States troops from neighboring Syria, where they have also been helping in the fight against extremist militants.

On Wednesday, Trump said "we've knocked them out", although he appeared to hedge his bets - following widespread criticism that his victory declaration is premature - when he added that Iraq might be used as a future base for operations in Syria, CNN reported.

On his way home from Iraq, Trump will stop to visit troops at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

"On the other hand, Trump certainly needs to quell discontent among the Republicans related to his decision on withdrawing United States troops from Syria", Kosachev, who chairs the Russian Federation Council's (upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote on Facebook.

The prime minister's office said "differences in points of view over the arrangements" prevented the two from meeting but they discussed security issues and Trump's order to withdraw US troops from Syria over the phone. "The United States can not continue to be the policeman of the world", he repeated to reporters, describing a long-term vision of detached isolationism embodied by his controversial decision last week to pull thousands of USA troops from Syria and Afghanistan. "And if they do not leave, we have the experience and the ability to remove them by other means that your forces are familiar with", he tweeted. "The government has a duty to expel U.S. troops as a violation of the country's sovereignty", Nujaba spokesman Hashim al-Mousawi told Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen television channel.

If needed, the U.S. can attack ISIS "so fast and so hard" that they "won't know what the hell happened", Trump said. Mattis had planned to leave at the end of February but Trump forced him to go on January 1 after his resignation letter. Trump has questioned how long troops there should have to remain in what has become America's longest war.

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He spoke to a group of about 100 mostly special forces personnel and separately with military leaders before leaving a few hours later after a visit that sparked controversy in Iraq. For security reasons, the visits are usually kept secret until after the president arrives. Trump, who made the trip along with his wife Melania, told reporters.

"They said again, recently, can we have more time?"

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump was unable to meet with Abdul-Mahdi because of security concerns and the short notice of the president's trip to Iraq. Trump said on December 26 that he has no plans to reduce that number. By speaking at Al-Asad in western Iraq he sought to reach out directly to the American military. The paper reported that the daughters of a podiatrist in NY who is now dead said their father had given Trump a bone-spur diagnosis as a favor to Fred Trump, who owned the building where the doctor had his office.

The visit could have unintended consequences for American policy, with officials from both sides of Iraq's political divide calling for a vote in Parliament to expel USA forces from the country.

To reporters, he lamented the wear and tear of overseas conflicts.

General Mattis wrote: "Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position".

"I don't like doing it".

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