President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump Address US Troops in Iraq at Al Asad Air Base

A President who is committed to getting the job done and getting out of Dodge, leaving our allies in the Middle East (e.g. Saudi Arabia) to maintain the peace. Peace through strength.

 

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17 Responses to President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump Address US Troops in Iraq at Al Asad Air Base

  1. stella says:

    Greta Van Susteren
    15 mins ·

    President Trump and the First Lady are returning back to DC from Iraq…below is the latest WH Press Pool report

    —-

    Subject: Pool Report #3 Brief stop in Germany, more quotes from Trump in Iraq

    Air Force One landed in Ramstein, Germany at 3:37 pm local time / 7:36 ET. POTUS plans to meet with troops stationed here.

    President Trump came to the press cabin during the flight from Iraq to Germany and spoke off the record for about 25 minutes. He wore a white dress shirt unbuttoned at the collar and a blue blazer. He generally seemed relaxed and pleased with his visit to Iraq.

    Also during the flight, Sarah Sanders told reporters that President Trump spoke on the phone with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi while Trump was at the base in Iraq. The two leaders had been scheduled to meet in person at the base but the meeting was canceled for security and logistical reasons, Sanders said. During the call, Trump invited the prime minister to visit the White House and the prime minister accepted, Sanders said.

    Sanders also gave a brief read out of what POTUS and senior military leaders discussed for countering ISIS during a briefing at Al Asad Air Base. Sanders: “At the briefing with senior military leadership, the generals and President Trump came up with a powerful plan that will allow us to continue on a path to total victory. People will begin to see the results very soon.”

    Another note: Shortly after Air Force on took off from Andrews Air Force base bound for Iraq, Melania Trump came to the press cabin and briefly talked off the record to convey seasons greetings to reporters and say hello.

    Among those traveling with POTUS and FLOTUS on this trip: John Bolton, Stephen Miller, Dan Walsh, Dan Scavino and Sarah Sanders.

    Below are some more quotes from Trump’s approximately three-hours on the ground in Iraq.

    MORE HIGHLIGHTS FROM TRUMP’S SPEECH TO TROOPS:

    After Trump took the stage, he told the troops he had signed off on billions of dollars in new equipment. “Your eyes are popping,” he said. Trump touted his effort to raise military salaries. “You just got a big pay raise,” he said. He asked for a show of hands for those who got a pay raise. Not many hands went up.

    He said that because of their sacrifice, Americans can live in peace. Trump: “The best way to have peace is strength.” He emphasized that other countries will need to invest more in their own protection, saying: “We are no longer the suckers of the world.”

    He thanked the troops for their work toward the “near elimination of the ISIS caliphate.” Trump emphasized that the territory controlled by ISIS has decreased over the past two years. He talked about the U.S. “deliberate withdrawal” from Syria and said that American forces can continue to strike ISIS from Iraq. “If we see something happening with ISIS that we don’t like, we can hit them so fast and so hard they really won’t know what the hell happened,” Trump said.

    POTUS talked about his desire to expand the border wall in the U.S., discussed the caravan and blamed Democrats for not wanting a wall. “This is your fight. When you think about it you are fighting for borders in other countries and they [Democrats] don’t want to fight,” Trump said. Check transcript. The echoes in the hanger made it hard to hear and get exact quotes.

    QUOTES from Trump’s comments to reporters before the military briefing at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq:

    ON SHANAHAN

    Trump said Shanahan could be leading the Defense Department for “a long time.” “Our friend Shanahan is a good man. He’s done a great job. He’s a good buyer. I wanted somebody that could buy. Because I’m giving them a lot of money and I don’t want it to be wasted. When I came here, they were spending for a 4 billion dollar aircraft carrier they were up to 16 billion dollars. That’s not me. That’s them. I inherited that and many other things. Cost overruns all over the place. Shanahan was at Boeing. Did a great at Boeing. Was there for a long time. Boeing is a hell of a company. He did a great job. Very responsible for the success for a certain plane- the Dreamliner. He’s a respected man. He could be there for a long time, I’m in no rush.”

    Response to question on how the U.S. withdrawal from Syria will impact Israel:

    Trump: “I don’t see it that way. I spoke with Bibi. I told Bibi, you know we give Israel 4.5 billion dollars a year. And they are doing very well at defending themselves.”
    “We’ll always be there for Israel.”
    “I’m the one that moved the embassy to Jerusalem. I was the one who was willing to do that”
    “So that’s the way it is we are going to take great care of Israel. Israel is going to be good. We give Israel 4.5 billion a year. And we give frankly a lot more than that if you look at the books. They’ve been doing a good job.”

    A general note on the smells and sights of Al Asad Air Base: Air Force One landed in the dark, with no lights on, and much of the base was pitch black as we drove through it. Where there was a flood light, the rays were filtered by a haze of pollution and dust. Like many American bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, the air at Al Asad Air Base smells slightly of diesel fuel and raw sewage, and there is a constant purr of generators and air conditioners running in the background. Walking on base is punctuated by the crunch of the gravel laid down between buildings and tents to keep the dust down. Al Asad Air Base is located west of Baghdad.

    Brian Bennett
    Senior White House Correspondent
    Time magazine

    Liked by 2 people

  2. stella says:

    Liked by 4 people

    • czarowniczy says:

      If you remember my ‘smell of coal in Germany’, we were stationed at Ramstein.
      Ramstein was a major Luftwaffe base in WWII, in the early 60s when we were there it had US and French AF elements. They used some of the same runways that were built for the Luftwaffe though some of the runway complex had been devoted to the autobahn leading into the base – you could still se concealed parking spots that had been built for Luftwaffe fighters along the entrance and some were still being used on the base itself. This wasn’t unusual as Hitler had designed long stretches of dead-straight autobahn to serve as emergency and operational takeoff and landing strips.
      There was a housing area on Ramstein for American families but it was full so we ended up at the Vogelweh housing complex where US families for the Army and AF who didn’t want to live off base resided. It was the largest complex of American families outside of the US.
      That was over 50 years ago and I’m sure Ramstein’s much larger and more modern than it was then – I know my high school there has gone from being a big two story building to a sprawling complex – last time I was there nearly 35 years ago just about all of the remaining WWII structures that were still scattered through the area were gone. Ah well, hope Trump enjoys his visit and I’m betting the AF groundcrews that servicevthe plane won’t be putting chlorine-tasting water and MREs on it.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. stella says:

    Liked by 2 people

  4. czarowniczy says:

    And his detractors are whining about how this visit to the troops is long overdue. If they’d leave him alone and allow him to do what he was elected to do, give him as much latitude to save and rebuild the country as the did the POtuS to rear down and weaken it, he could have.
    On the smarmy side, you can’t keep anything secret in DC and I’m not sure that, were I Trump, I’d want Schumer, Pelosi and Obama letting their Moslem contacts over there that I was coming.

    Liked by 3 people

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