President Donald Trump visited troops in Afghanistan over the Thanksgiving holiday, but still found time for one of his favorite hobbies: bashing the media.
Trump targeted Newsweek, in particular, reacting to a story about his plans for the holiday. The outlet published a story initially headlined, “How is Trump Spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, Golfing and More.” The first version of the article didn’t include info about Trump’s trip to visit troops in Afghanistan, which was kept secret until the president arrived at Bagram Air Field. The Newsweek story was later updated with a new headline that mentioned Afghanistan, and details about the trip were added to the article itself.
But the first son, Donald Trump Jr., had already gone after Newsweek, posting images on Twitter of the non-updated headline next to pictures of the president passing out food to troops.
“Fake news gonna fake!” Trump Jr. commented.
Soon enough, his dad got in on the media-bashing action.
“I thought Newsweek was out of business?” Trump commented in response to his son’s “fake news” tweet.
Trump snuck out of his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, late on Wednesday to a military plane with just a few close advisers, CNN reported. That group eventually boarded Air Force 1 at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where the traveling press pool was waiting. Reporters on board had their phones taken and weren’t notified of the plane’s ultimate destination until there were just two hours left on the 16-hour flight to Afghanistan, according to CNN.
"It's a dangerous area and he wants to support the troops," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told aboard the reporters on the flight, via CNN. "He and Mrs. Trump recognize that there's a lot of people far away from their families during the holidays and we thought it'd be a nice surprise."
Trump reportedly passed out about two dozen meals to troops and met briefly with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani. Trump also spoke to the troops: he praised their service, bragged about defeating ISIS, and complained that he didn’t get a chance to eat any turkey.
“I sat down, I had a gorgeous piece of turkey and I was all set to go,” Trump said while speaking to the troops in Afghanistan, according to Politico. “And I had some mashed potatoes and I had a bite of mashed potatoes, and I never got to the turkey, because Gen. [Mark] Milley said come on over, sir, let’s take some pictures. I never got to my turkey. It’s the first time at Thanksgiving that I’ve never had anything called turkey.“
Trump left Afghanistan after about three hours at the base, and is now back in Florida.
Cover: President Donald Trump smiles while sitting with the troops during a surprise Thanksgiving Day visit to the troops, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019, at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)