Donald Trump makes surprise visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving
- Trump made surprise Thanksgiving Day trip to Afghanistan
- It is his first visit to the country
- He met with Afghan President Ghani
- He served Thanksgiving dinner to the troops
- He thanked them for their service
President Donald Trump made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Thanksgiving to greet U..S troops and meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss a Taliban ceasefire.
It is his first visit to that country.
‘There is nowhere that I’d rather celebrate this Thanksgiving than right here with the toughest, strongest best and bravest warriors on the face of the Earth,’ Trump told troops.
President Trump sitting with troops in Afghanistan
President Donald Trump shakes hands during a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during a surprise Thanksgiving Day visit
The president landed at Bagram Air Field, the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan. The first lady did join him. He made a surprise visit to Iraq last Christmas with first lady Melania Trump.
He served turkey to troops in a cafeteria, posed for photos with them and delivered brief remarks in a hanger.
The president stood behind a serving counter to distribute turkey on a plate and then handed plates to troops.
He praised the food to the soldiers and told them: ‘You’ll come back’.
After he made his remarks he sat down at a table of soldiers, eating turkey, mashed potatoes and cornbread.
President Trump served Thanksgiving dinner to the troops
Trump, seated next to Sen. John Barrasso, enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal
Military personnel said there were about 500 troops in the rooms to greet the president.
Additionally, President Trump held a bilateral meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in which he announced he has restarted peace negotiations with the Taliban.
Trump also said that he believes the Taliban wants a ceasefire. And he confirmed he would like to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to 8,600.
Air Force One left the United States Wednesday night and landed at Bagram Air Base Thursday morning local time.
The president was joined by Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Sen. John Barrasso, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Dan Walsh, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, Deputy White House Press Secretary Judd Deere and social media director Dan Scavino.
‘It’s a dangerous area and he wants to support the troops,’ Grisham said of the visit. ‘He and Mrs. Trump recognize that there’s a lot of people far away from their families during the holidays and we thought it’d be a nice surprise.’
‘It’s truly about Thanksgiving and supporting the troops,’ Grisham responded when asked about the political message of the trip.
Trump joined the troops for a meal, eating turkey, cornbread and mashed potatoes
Trump speaks to troops in Afghanistan
When asked how the president was feeling, Grisham responded: ‘He’s good. He’s excited.’
Grisham told reporters that the trip has been planned for weeks.
Trump invited Barrasso, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who regularly travels to Afghanistan, on the trip when the two saw each other recently in New York, she said.
The president secretly flew from Florida to Andrews Air Force Base after night fell Wednesday, but the White House declined to release details of his trip.