WATCH: Trump Makes Surprise Visit To Troops In Afghanistan
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President Trump made a surprise trip to Afghanistan on Thanksgiving.
Trump reportedly made his first trip to Afghanistan under a veil of secrecy for security reasons. He told troops gathered at the Air Force base for Thanksgiving dinner that the Taliban “wants to make a deal very badly.”
After only three months since Afghan insurgents killed 11 people in a terror attack, including one U.S. soldier, President Trump announced that the U.S. has reopened peace talks with the Taliban.
Trump: “We’re going to stay until such time as we have a deal, or we have total victory, and they want to make to make a deal very badly. The Taliban wants to make a deal — we’ll see if they make a deal. If they do, they do, and if they don’t they don’t. That’s fine…
“There’s nowhere I’d rather spend Thanksgiving than with the toughest, fiercest warriors. I’m here to say Happy Thanksgiving and thank you very much. As president of the United States, I have no higher honor than serving as commander-in-chief…
“We will continue to work tirelessly for the day when all of you can go home to your families, and that day is coming very soon.”
From Fox News:
The president also reaffirmed his commitment to bring the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan down to about 8,600 – from about 12,000 to 13,000…
Earlier in the day, however, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said no decisions had been made on troop reductions, but there were several options, including going down to 8,600,
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wy., traveled with the president on a 13-hour overnight trip on Air Force One from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland to Afghanistan on Wednesday.
The president arrived in Afghanistan just in time to serve troops Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. Standing alongside Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, he dished out turkey to roughly two dozen troops at a dining facility decorated with red, orange and yellow Thanksgiving banners and tablecloths. Mulvaney, Barrasso, and O’Brien were also behind the counter.