Tags: Donald Trump | Iraq | Media Bias | barry mccaffrey | troops | presidential visit | politicization

McCaffrey: Trump Turned Visit Into 'Unheard of' Political Rally

president donald trump holds a black marker and a red maga hat while smiling during a christmastime visit with troops
President Donald Trump holds a marker and a MAGA hat while visiting troops in Iraq. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 27 December 2018 09:28 PM

Retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey on Thursday upbraided President Donald Trump for turning his visit to U.S. troops in Iraq into a political rally.

In remarks on "MSNBC Live" with Velshi and Ruhle, the military analyst and commentator said the politicization was "basically unheard of."

"Look, it's a good thing that the president went to Iraq," he said. "Even better that he took Melania along. I think you could see him, in the audience, when he's talking to them — his advance party politicized that event. They passed out those [MAGA] hats.

"It was entirely inappropriate to use that as a point of the political rally," he continued. "The whole notion of going to Iraq and not genuflecting in some way, politically, [to] the Iraqis is outrageous. And announce . . . we're going to use it as a site from which we'll conduct combat operations in other nations. It's inciting Iraqi sovereignty concerns."

McCaffrey also railed at Trump's declaration of a 10 percent pay raise to troops as their first in a decade.

"I love to cite 'Seinfeld' periodically," he said. "George in one session says 'it's not a lie if you believe it.' . . . The troops all should have known it was complete nonsense. But, you know, they were sort of excited the commander in chief was there and willing to blow by it."

McCaffrey lamented the president's trip would be perceived poorly in the international community, citing he "made no gestures to the Germans" during a stop there.

"We have 30,000 troops in Germany," he said. "Forty percent of the Germans want us out of Germany. Our international stature has been significantly diminished in the last few years."

He also chided Trump for boasting to the troops about the dangers of his trip to Iraq.

"God, he's talking to special operations soldiers in Iraq, it's sort of embarrassing," he said.

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President Donald Trump turned his visit to U.S. troops in Iraq into a political rally, retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey told Thursday's "MSNBC Live" with Velshi and Ruhle.
barry mccaffrey, troops, presidential visit, politicization
Thursday, 27 December 2018 09:28 PM
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