Here Are All The Times The Media Has Jumped The Gun On Trump’s Troop Visits

Each time President Donald Trump has gone to visit troops overseas for a holiday, the media has either criticized it or said it wasn’t going to happen altogether.

We’ve compiled the most biggest flubs from the media when it comes to his relationship with the troops.

“Golfing, tweeting, and more” on Thanksgiving: Newsweek 2019

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U.S. President Donald Trump eats dinner with U.S. troops at a Thanksgiving dinner event during a surprise visit at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, November 28, 2019. (REUTERS/Tom Brenner)

Newsweek published a story the day of Thanksgiving declaring Trump would be spending his day “golfing, tweeting, and more,” in its initial headline.

While Trump’s official schedule featured a call with the troops and placed him at Mar-a-Lago for the day, he ultimately made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan to visit the troops in person.

“I’ll be talking to you later but right now I want to have some turkey. I’m going to join you for a little lunch,” Trump said after doling out servings of turkey. “We’re also going to shake hands with some of the folks. Thank you very much. What a great job you do. It’s an honor to be here.” (RELATED: POTUS Greeted With Cheers As He Talks About Death Of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi)

Newsweek later changed the headline, but Twitter users including the president ruthlessly criticized the outlet.

MAGA Hats Are Illegal: Various Outlets 2018

A member of the US military holds up a "Make America Great Again" hat as US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet members of the US military during a stop at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, on December 27, 2018. - President Donald Trump used a lightning visit to Iraq -- his first with US troops in a conflict zone since being elected -- to defend the withdrawal from Syria and to declare an end to America's role as the global "policeman." (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

A member of the US military holds up a “Make America Great Again” hat as US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet members of the US military during a stop at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, on December 27, 2018. – President Donald Trump used a lightning visit to Iraq — his first with US troops in a conflict zone since being elected — to defend the withdrawal from Syria and to declare an end to America’s role as the global “policeman.” (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump visited troops in Iraq and Germany for Christmas in 2018 and several brought him “Make America Great Again” hats for him to sign. Multiple outlets said that may have been a violation of military code.

“Trump has blurred the line between the office of the presidency and the campaign to such a degree that it is making it much more difficult for troops to make that distinction on their own,” CNN military analyst John Kirby argued at the time. “It’s bad enough that Trump doesn’t see a problem with signing campaign paraphernalia at a military base, maybe even more so that some of our troops are OK with it.”

Days later, the White House denied distributing the hats, saying the soldiers had acquired them on their own and brought them to the event. Then-Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the hats shows support for Trump personally, but were not an explicit political endorsement on the part of the military.

Trump Skipped Troops For Christmas: Various Outlets 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet military personnel at the dining facility during an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq December 26, 2018. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet military personnel at the dining facility during an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq December 26, 2018. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Numerous outlets reported that President Trump became the first president not to visit the troops during Christmastime since 2002. NBC News first reported Trump as skipping out on the tradition on Christmas day, just as Trump and his wife were arriving  in Iraq.

President Trump becomes first president since 2002 not to visit troops at Christmastime. (RELATED: Trump Requires South Korea To Pay 400% More For US Troops After Threats From North Koreans)

https://t.co/6GS2MTeaLZ

— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 25, 2018

Liberal political commentator Soledad O’brien argued that the NBC story had been the catalyst for Trump’s trip, but Fox News commentator Brit Hume set her straight.

In reality, Trump’s unannounced trip to Iraq had been scheduled weeks in advance, but had been withheld from the media for security reasons. Nevertheless, once they admitted it happened, the media framed the visit as Trump bending to public pressure to visit the troops.

“The president’s visit to Al Asad Air Base west of Baghdad, which was shrouded in secrecy, follows months of public pressure for him to spend time with troops deployed to conflicts in the Middle East and punctuates the biggest week of turmoil the Pentagon has faced during his presidency,” the Washington Post wrote at the time, only to back away from that framing later.

The media has criticized Trump’s relationship with the military on nearly every major holiday since 2018, including July 4 when the president took part in a massive military parade in Washington, D.C.

It remains to be seen whether the media will once again jump the gun on Christmas this year.

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