Donald Trump took nearly two years to visit troops in a combat zone. When he did visit Iraq this week, it was to distract from having caused a partial government shutdown while the special counsel’s investigation gets closer to his inner circle—and the distraction from that has come mostly because of Trump’s inevitable inappropriate behavior during the trip.
Trump bragged to troops that he had given them a 10 percent pay increase, their first raise in years. Except the military has gotten annual raises for decades, and the raise Trump authorized was a 2.6 percent raise, not a 10 percent one. (Ten percent is nearly four times 2.6 percent, if you want to do the math there.) He broke the norm of not politicizing visits to troops by signing MAGA hats and by attacking Democrats for not giving him his useless, hateful wall funding. He tweeted a video that appears to show the identities of members of a covert SEAL team.
And then there was this piece of idiocy as Trump tried to explain that he wasn’t scared to visit a combat area, he was just concerned:
“I had concerns for the institution of the presidency,” he told reporters. “Not for myself, personally. I had concerns for the first lady, I will tell you. But if you would have seen what we had to go through, with the darkened plane, with all windows closed, with no lights on whatsoever, anywhere — pitch black. I’ve never seen it. I’ve been in many airplanes — all types and shapes and sizes. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Well … at least that “if you would have seen what we had to go through” was directed at reporters, not troops who have … probably seen rather more. But forget that. Poor, poor Donald, having to give up his Mar-a-Lago vacation and then fly in a darkened plane all concerned for Melania (for whom his concern is so legendary)—though not at all worried about himself. What a tough life.