President Donald Trump made a surprise Christmas visit to U.S. troops in Iraq on Wednesday (December 26), his first trip to a conflict zone nearly two years into his presidency and days after announcing a pullout of American troops from neighboring Syria. Air Force One touched down at the Al Asad Air Base west of Baghdad after an overnight flight from Washington with first lady Melania Trump, a small group of aides and Secret Service agents, and a pool of reporters. He stayed for a little more than three hours. “We’re going to have a (border) wall. We’re going to have safety. We need safety for our country, even from this standpoint. We have terrorists coming in. We have the terrorists also coming in from the southern border because you know why? It was always the easiest,” he said. He further added, “technology is bells and whistles. You have to have a wall, you have to have protection. But we have in addition to drones, in addition to human trafficking, in addition to mass numbers of illegals who are coming in — many of whom are criminals, you saw that, 618 so far that we found; in some cases very serious criminals, in some cases murderers. You saw that yourselves, it was on your cameras for everybody to see. — Um, we need a wall. So when you say ‘how long is it going to take?’ When are they going to say that we need border security? When are the Democrats going to say — Don’t forget, the Democrats all agreed that you need a wall until I wanted it. Once I wanted it, they didn’t agree.” Trump has drawn fire from some in the U.S. military for not having visited U.S. troops in conflict zones since taking office in January 2017, particularly after he canceled a trip to a World War One cemetery in France last month due to rain.
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