President Trump is about to attend the yearly anti-abortion March for Life rally in Washington, D.C., becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so.
Trump on Friday will speak at the rally that occurs annually to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, drawing demonstrators who call for the decision legalizing abortion nationwide to be overturned. According to March for Life, Trump will be the first sitting American president to ever attend the event, which was first held in 1974.
Past presidents have addressed the March for Life rally, but not in person; former Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan spoke to demonstrators via telephone, CNN reports. Vice President Mike Pence and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also both previously attended the March for Life, and Pence became the first sitting vice president to attend in 2017, The New York Times reports.
Trump, who once described himself as "very pro-choice," has supported the March for Life in past years and in 2018 became the first president to deliver a video address to the rally, according to the Times.
The Washington Post notes that Trump's decision to attend the March for Life this year "comes as he has sought to consolidate support from evangelicals in his reelection campaign amid signs that a portion of his conservative base has been troubled by his conduct." Past Republican presidents generally haven't attended in person, The Associated Press writes, "to avoid being too closely associated with demonstrators eager to outlaw" abortion.
Trump is expected to speak between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. ET, the Post reports, shortly before Democrats' opening arguments in the Senate's impeachment trial will resume. Brendan Morrow
President Trump just paid an unannounced visit to troops in Iraq, the first time he has done so as president.
This visit came as a surprise Wednesday, with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders revealing it on Twitter with a photo of Trump with American troops. The president was joined by first lady Melania Trump, and the two spent about three hours at the Al-Asad Air Base near Baghdad, CBS News' Mark Knoller reports.
President Trump and the First Lady traveled to Iraq late on Christmas night to visit with our troops and Senior Military leadership to thank them for their service, their success, and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas. pic.twitter.com/s2hntnRwpw
Trump had faced criticism for never having visited troops in a war zone overseas as president, especially when it seemed he would be bucking a 15-year tradition of doing so over the holidays. But as it turns out, Trump kept the tradition alive with this visit, which took place one week after he controversially announced he would be withdrawing troops from Syria. While in Iraq, Trump defended this decision, saying per Reuters, “I think a lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking. It's time for us to start using our head."