With just over seven hours left of Christmas Day Tuesday, Donald and Melania Trump took Air Force One out of Andrews Air Force Base near Washington for an unannounced flight to Iraq under cover of darkness and news blackout.
Then standing before the troops there, he lied outright to them about getting a large pay raise that didn’t exist.
You haven’t gotten one in more than 10 years — more than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one.”
They said: You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3 percent. We could make it 2 percent. We could make it 4 percent.’ I said: ‘No. Make it 10 percent. Make it more than 10 percent.’
Trump only authorized a pay raise of 2.6 percent, not 10, and they have received a raise every year for the past 10 years and every other year for decades.
And Trump originally proposed a 2.1 percent pay raise for military personnel, not 2.6. Congress approved a higher amount.
To make matters worse, Trump’s surprise visit to Iraq is not setting well for that nation’s government.
The head of one of two main blocs in Iraq’s Parliament is denouncing President Donald Trump’s unannounced visit, calling it a “blatant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.”
Sabah al-Saidi says he is calling for an emergency session of Parliament to discuss Trump’s visit Wednesday evening.
Al-Saidi, who heads the Islah bloc, said “the American occupation of Iraq is over.” He said Trump should not be allowed to arrive “as if Iraq is a state of the United States.”
Iraq’s government has close military and diplomatic ties with Washington, though few parties want to be seen as overly close to the U.S. The Islah bloc is considered closer to the U.S. than the rival Binaa bloc, which espouses close ties with Iran.
Trump did not meet with Iraq prime minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi while in Iraq but phoned him and then jetted over to Germany to visit American troops there.
Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post wonders how much lower Trump will go before Republicans run from him:
President Trump is getting slammed by Democrats and some Republicans for foreign policy blunders, a needless government shutdown and removing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis two months before his resignation was to take effect. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) already mastered the art of needling him. (“First of all, the fact . . . that he says, ‘We’re going to build a wall with cement, and Mexico’s going to pay for it’ while he’s already backed off of the cement — now he’s down to, I think, a beaded curtain or something.”) The markets are on a roller coaster. That Trump is bleeding support should therefore come as no shock.
The Morning Consult poll found at the onset of the shutdown that “39 percent of registered voters — including 80 percent of Republicans — approved of the president’s job performance, while 56 percent — including 90 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independents — did not.” His numbers in this poll haven’t been this bad since Charlottesville.
Sixty-four percent — including 54 percent of Republicans! — think he’s unlikely to get the wall.
A poll conducted for AP shows:
–16% of those who ‘somewhat’ supported Trump’s job performance decided to vote for Democratic House candidates in the November midterms. That’s compared with 6% of those who self-identified as Trump’s ‘strong” supporters.
How low will we go? Much more, most likely.
Will it matter? Time will tell and time, at this point in Trump’s beleaguered and deteriorating presidency, time is not on his side.
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