Trump, Visiting Troops in Iraq, Makes False Claims About Raising Military Pay

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In a special ops faux pas during his first trip to an active combat zone, President Donald Trump seems to have inadvertently revealed the faces and whereabouts of a Navy Seal team in Iraq via tweet.

Making the covert trek to the Middle East has since been copied by President Barack Obama, and on Wednesday, President Donald Trump.

Air Force One touched down at the Al Asad Air Base west of Baghdad after an overnight flight from Washington with first lady Melania Trump, a small group of aides and Secret Service agents, and a pool of reporters.

During Trump's visit to the base, he paused to take a selfie with U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Kyu Lee (seen above with Trump).

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet members of the USA military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on December 26, 2018.

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Sharif's second term as prime minister ended in 1999 after he was deposed by then army chief Pervez Musharraf in a bloodless coup. An across the board accountability process against the corrupt was underway, he added.

"Because of these gains, our service members in Syria can now return home to their families", Trump said.

Trump also spoke to troops gathered in a dining hall festooned with holiday decorations and teased soldiers about their favorite football teams.

In fact, military members have seen a pay raise in each of the last 10 years, ranging from 1 percent to 3.9 percent, according to the Defense Department.

Trump landed at 7:16 pm local time at Al-Asad Air Base in western Iraq, accompanied by his wife Melania Trump, an AFP correspondent said.

Lawmakers decried the visit as arrogant and a violation of Iraqi sovereignty. "We've knocked them silly". Trump said from Baghdad he was concerned about the safety of those accompanying him to Iraq.

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Mattis was supposed to continue leading the Pentagon until late February but Trump moved up his exit and announced that Patrick Shanahan, deputy defense secretary, would take the job on January 1 and he was in "no rush" to nominate a new defense chief.

Trump had planned to spend Christmas at his private club in Florida, but stayed behind in Washington due to the partial government shutdown. The Pentagon is also said to be developing plans to withdraw up to half of the 14,000 American troops still serving in Afghanistan.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that for security reasons, the White House was only able to invite the prime minister two hours before the scheduled time of the meeting and that the prime minister was in a different part of Iraq and unable to attend. The President and military leaders had "come up with a powerful plan", she told reporters, "that will allow us to continue on a path to total victory".

The U.S. military says it has about 5,200 troops in Iraq, focused on training and advising Iraqi troops to ensure that Islamic State does not re-emerge.

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