Published: Sat, December 29, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Trump tweets video revealing secretive Navy Seal team in Iraq

Trump tweets video revealing secretive Navy Seal team in Iraq

The story by CNN politics reporter Eli Watkins, headlined "Troops bringing Trump hats to sign may violate military rule", was criticized by press secretary Sanders, among others, who fired back at CNN on Thursday, tweeting that the network "will attack anyone who supports President Trump, including the fearless men and women of our military who fight everyday to protect our freedom".

Lawmakers were especially frustrated by Trump's visit Wednesday, calling it arrogant and a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

Trump's visit was a surprise and marked Trump's first visit to the combat zone. Few in Iraq or elsewhere knew the US president was in the country until minutes before he left. Numerous reporters in attendance compared Trump's appearance at the event to a campaign rally rather than a visit by a sitting President.

After CNN reported military members backing the US president might have broken the military rules, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said it is proof the network "will attack anyone who supports" President Donald Trump. "The American occupation of Iraq is over", said Sabah al-Saidi, the head of one of two main blocs in Iraq's parliament.

Trump also drew criticism in the USA for repeating a previously debunked claim that he had secured military members a pay raise for the first time in 10 years, when in fact the Pentagon has increased pay each year.

The visit could have unintended consequences for American policy, with officials from both sides of Iraq's political divide calling for a vote in Parliament to expel US forces from the country. Trump also stopped in Germany on his way back to greet troops at a US air base.

Over the weekend, Defense Secretary James Mattis signed an order that tasked U.S. Central Command with developing a withdrawal plan, but there was no timetable associated with the order.

The suggestion ran counter to the current sentiment of Iraqi politics, which favors claiming sovereignty over foreign and domestic policy and staying above the fray in regional conflicts.

"Trump should know that Iraq is not an American state and Iraqi prime minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi should bear responsibility", Iraqi lawmaker Faleh al-Khazali said in a statement.

"There will be a strong, deliberate and orderly withdrawal of US forces from Syria", Trump told USA troops on Thursday during his trip to Iraq. Since U.S. forces returned to Iraq in 2014, the base has played an important role in the fight against Islamic State because of its location. Al-Sadr has called for curbing USA and Iranian involvement in Iraqi affairs.

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