President Trump doubled down on his use of the term ‘Mission Accomplished,’ which he included in a tweet about Syria Saturday morning.
‘The Syrian raid was so perfectly carried out, with such precision, that the only way the Fake News Media could demean was by my use of the term “Mission Accomplished,”‘ Trump tweeted Sunday morning. ‘I knew they would seize on this but felt it is such a great Military term, it should be brought back. Use often!’
The criticism of Trump – which came from a number of members of his own party – was that he seemed to lack an understanding of how the term has been used historically.
President Trump is seen addressing the nation about green-lighting military action in Syria on Friday night
President Trump said Sunday that the ‘Fake News Media’ was merely looking for something to complain about, as a number of Bush administration alumni have warned Trump not to use the phrase ‘Mission Accomplished’
On Saturday, President Trump used the term ‘Mission Accomplished!’ when tweeting about the Syria strike, a term that weighed heavily on the nation’s previous Republican administration
President George W. Bush spoke aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, with a giant ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner over his shoulders, just two months into the Iraq War.
As the Iraq War continued for years after the Bush administration’s declaration, the photo was used to symbolize that mess.
Bush, himself, says the sign was a mistake.
‘It was a sign aimed at the sailors on the ship, but it conveyed a broader knowledge,’ Bush said. ‘It said to some, well, Bush think the war in Iraq is over, when I didn’t think that. But nonetheless, it conveyed the wrong message.’
Trump didn’t seem to care, or know that the phrase was a political minefield, when he deployed it on Saturday.
Former Bush White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said he would ‘have recommended ending this tweet with not those two words’
Nicolle Wallace, who would become White House Communications Director under Bush 43, advised ‘it’s about the last thing Trump should have said – take my word on this’
‘A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result,’ Trump wrote. ‘Mission Accomplished!’
Former Bush White House staffers tweeted that Trump should have avoided the phrase.
‘Beyond interesting- it was a declaration that was not uttered or intended to do harm to the public’s understanding of progress (or lack thereof) in Iraq – but that was the effect,’ explained Nicolle Wallace, who would eventually become Bush’s communications director. She now has a show on MSNBC.
‘It’s about the last thing Trump should have said – take my word on this,’ Wallace said.
Bush’s ex-press secretary, Ari Fleischer, agreed with Wallace.
‘Um…I would have recommended ending this tweet with not those two words,’ he wrote on Twitter, he said.
Fleischer used Twitter to explain the broader backstory of the banner – that it was hung at the request of the crew, who were returning from the longest deployment of any ship in Navy history.
‘It was the crew’s message from start to finish. It also was the backdrop for Bush’s speech. In May 2003, everyone thought the mission had been accomplished. The insurgency did not fully develop until the Fall of 2003. The WH press corps in May did not criticize the banner,’ Fleischer noted.
‘By the Fall, the shot of Bush with the banner became a symbol of what went wrong. And now you know the full story,’ he said.