The day after Christmas, President Donald Trump and his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, flew to Iraq to visit service men and women overseas. It was the first time since taking office the President visited members of the armed forces currently stationed in combat zones.
It is well known President Trump avoided military service during the Vietnam draft with five deferments, and didn't show any early signs of wanting to visit troops, so the after-Christmas visit came as a very pleasant surprise for many in the media. (And by many, we mean Fox News.)
For everyone else there was skepticism. While in the middle of a partial government shutdown, and after asking a seven-year-old, "Are you a still a believer in Santa? Because at 7, it's marginal, right?", some felt Trump might have had other reasons for skipping town.
Folks took to Twitter to give their best guess at the underlying motive for the Trump travel.
@jimsciutto Perfect timing... take it how you want but he did it for show, conversation changer. His motives are NEVER PURE— Caren Sykes (@Caren Sykes)1545853233.0
ATTENTION JOURNALISTS: If Trump is secretly en route to visit troops, ask if he will be returning to DC or FL. T… https://t.co/DlHi7p3i50— Bill Prady (@Bill Prady)1545851365.0
@jimsciutto It’s the only way he can be in palm beach for New Years— Molly Jong-Fast (@Molly Jong-Fast)1545853100.0
@jimsciutto After being dragged publicly for weeks for not doing it. Hes so transparent— I Don't Like Kale 🥞 (@I Don't Like Kale 🥞)1545853180.0
Where have we seen this type of behavior before? Oh yeah...
@billprady @sarahkendzior It's the equivalent of Paul Ryan rushing into a closed soup kitchen and pretending to was… https://t.co/no7pSqPTPE— Glam Greenwald (@Glam Greenwald)1545854838.0
People don't trust the motives.
@billprady @Cruellaisdevine Aha... I was just about to ask why this trip was a big secret. Your post makes sense.… https://t.co/0iua0RIP7g— Linda Turner (@Linda Turner)1545855360.0
@jimsciutto https://t.co/iv3xLCTHiT— Karen Moyle 🌊🌊🌊 (@Karen Moyle 🌊🌊🌊)1545853619.0
@jimsciutto Correction last ditch effort to distract from his disastrous presidency. It has nothing to do with the… https://t.co/xwXm8ZOdhY— C.Taylor (@C.Taylor)1545854101.0
Some sneaky little mice were making plans while the cat was away.
@jimsciutto Good. Better late than never. Now will someone please change the WH locks!?— Positive Change (@Positive Change)1545853076.0
@billprady QUICK!!!! Throw up a wall around the US - maybe that will keep him out!— susan ward (@susan ward)1545854803.0
While some pondered how the conversation went with the troops.
@jimsciutto After 3 days of terrible press he needed a huge distraction & this was it! Hope someone asked him why h… https://t.co/xMOjIRWFNX— Karen Tosado 🎅🦌🎄🦌🎅 (@Karen Tosado 🎅🦌🎄🦌🎅)1545855720.0
@jimsciutto "And do you still believe you're fighting for freedom? Because at age 24 that's marginal, right?"— Ronald van der Putte (@Ronald van der Putte)1545852863.0
And then there was the tiny issue of a whooper of a lie.
Trump to the troops in Iraq: "You haven’t gotten [a raise] in more than ten years. More than ten years. And we got… https://t.co/SkeuOHLjuV— Bill Kristol (@Bill Kristol)1545865396.0
Also the that nit-picky detail of outing the location and faces of Navy Seals by posting their faces onTwitter.
.@FLOTUS Melania and I were honored to visit our incredible troops at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq. GOD BLESS THE U.S.A… https://t.co/SLe2tXnMLl— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1545856525.0
@realDonaldTrump @FLOTUS Hey, thanks for letting everyone know who and where the Navy Seals are!— Jo Yaffe (@Jo Yaffe)1545927425.0
@realDonaldTrump @FLOTUS .@NormEisen ,Counsel for Ethics:"...Trump managed on 1 short trip to lie about troops’ pay… https://t.co/u0oqgXkfFL— Bobbie K (@Bobbie K)1545925462.0
@realDonaldTrump @FLOTUS Okay, those are Navy SEALs and public video of SOF like this is a threat to military security.— Ashutosh Niwargi (@Ashutosh Niwargi)1545927773.0
@realDonaldTrump @FLOTUS Are those the navy seals that we are not supposed to know about?— Ganna Shiromi (@Ganna Shiromi)1545928607.0
So, to recap.
@realDonaldTrump @FLOTUS It was just part of his campaign tour and had nothing to do with honoring the troops. Thi… https://t.co/vtUklu0KTz— Tom Gagen (@Tom Gagen)1545921336.0
@realDonaldTrump @FLOTUS “He spent 30 minutes on the ground, complained about the flight, lied to the troops repeat… https://t.co/309okDANq2— Lanikaigal (@Lanikaigal)1545921860.0
@realDonaldTrump @FLOTUS At least you didn’t leak any classified info about a covert SEAL team while...oh, wait.— John Arlet (@John Arlet)1545927277.0
@realDonaldTrump @FLOTUS You went there to do the only thing you know how to do, lie!!! https://t.co/AxWot3nQ4H— Empty (@Empty)1545924894.0
@realDonaldTrump @FLOTUS Oh my gosh are you serious? This is laughable! The song and the propaganda is sooo corney!… https://t.co/ILIfWb1bLq— KathyOstman-Magnusen (@KathyOstman-Magnusen)1545927660.0
In other words, just another average day in Trump world.