The president and first lady made a surprise visit to troops in Iraq. President Trump tweeted: “Melania and I were honored to visit our incredible troops at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq. GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.!” While in Iraq, Trump defended his policy to begin removing troops from Syria, saying that U.S. presence in the country was never intended to be “open-ended.”
Trump made the 11-hour flight on a darkened Air Force One with lights off and window shades drawn, accompanied by a jet escort.
The president was joined at the air base by National Security Adviser John Bolton for meetings with political and military leaders.
No other top officials or members of Congress were along.
The president spent around three hours on the ground with the first lady.
“President Trump and the First Lady traveled to Iraq late on Christmas night to visit with our troops and Senior Military leadership to thank them for their service, their success, and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted.