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Trump Visits Troops in Iraq: 'We're No Longer the Suckers'

President's surprise trip is his first to a combat zone
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2018 1:41 PM CST
Updated Dec 26, 2018 2:52 PM CST
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit with members of the military at a dining hall at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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(Newser) – If President Trump's Twitter feed seemed uncharacteristically quiet on Wednesday, now we know why. The president made a surprise trip to Iraq to visit US troops, his first visit to a combat zone, reports the New York Times. First lady Melania Trump accompanied him as he spoke to service members at Al Asad Air Base near Baghdad. Trump was expected to make a second stop as well. Details:

  • Defiant: The president struck a defiant tone in his remarks to the troops, notes the AP. "We're no longer the suckers, folks," he said. "We're respected again as a nation."
  • Staying put: Trump said he had no plans to withdraw the approximately 5,000 US troops stationed in Iraq, and he defended his controversial decision to withdraw troops from Syria. "I think a lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking," he told reporters, per Reuters. Besides, he said, the US could always deploy the troops in Iraq to fight ISIS if necessary. “In fact, we could use this as the base if we wanted to do something in Syria."

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