During CNN Tonight on Wednesday, host Don Lemon and his panel were heavily critical of what President Donald Trump told the deployed troops he visited just after Christmas, saying it was akin to Trump stealing Christmas the Grinch.
“It really was perplexing watching his message today, and then yesterday I do have to tell you, I tried not to because I was with my family, but when we turned on CNN and we saw the president politicizing a Christmas message, it was like we kept saying, he’s like the Grinch. I’m being honest,” Lemon said.
“No, he stole Christmas,” Sam Vinograd, a CNN National Security Analyst and former Obama administration official, said in agreement.
Lemon added how Trump should have been more humble during his trip:
“Instead of being positive with the troops, saying this is about the troops, it’s not about me, I’m here to thank you for your service, whatever, even if reporters ask him questions. This is not about me. This is about the troops. Maybe he should have said it’s unfortunate that some of them are not getting paid. We’ll come to an agreement and make sure everyone gets paid, the 42,000 members of the Coast Guard. Let’s be positive about Christmas. It was so negative and so — you want positivity when it comes to Christmas. It is perplexing. Why would he visit the troops and do that?”
“Well, Don, to be candid, I hope that this trip helped from a morale perspective,” Vinograd clarified. “But from a national security perspective, for all the reasons that you just listed, the president should have stayed home.
“And he made this about himself. These visits that presidents undertake — I served for a year in Iraq. I helped execute some of President Obama’s trips to Afghanistan and Iraq — are about the troops,” she added. They’re about their mission, and they’re there to tell the troops what they’re doing matters. This trip was about President Trump trying ostensibly to score political points and to list his accomplishments instead of telling the troops that what they’re doing matters and clearly outlining a mission for them going forward.”
Trump and First Lady Melania Trump did receive a strong welcome from the troops they visited in Iraq and Germany, with at least 200 service members waiting for hours past midnight to meet Trump in a hangar at Ramstein Air Base, according to Stars and Stripes.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) December 26, 2018
The men and women who serve in our nation’s military give up so much so that we can be free. @potus and I were honored to surprise deployed troops at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq. ?? pic.twitter.com/isLZT5S7YV
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 27, 2018
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