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."