Donald Trump is planning a Thanksgiving teleconference with members of the military on Thursday amid criticism of his support for troops.
The White House announced Wednesday night that Trump would be participating in “a Thanksgiving teleconference with members of the military” on Thursday morning. Trump will be at his Florida resort in Mar-a-Lago on Thanksgiving.
Trump has drawn backlash in recent weeks, including for his decision not to visit Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate Veteran’s Day. Trump later made a rare public show of regret, saying during an interview with Fox News that he “should have” visited the cemetery.
The president also received blowback for his criticism of retired Navy Adm. William McRaven, whom Trump knocked in remarks stating that he believed the U.S. should have killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden sooner.
Trump has yet to visit troops deployed in a war zone, a trip that has become a tradition for sitting presidents.
Trump told the Associated Press in a recent interview that he doesn’t think visiting troops in a war zone is “overly necessary.” “I’ve been very busy with everything that’s taking place here,” he said.
“I’m going to a war zone,” Trump then told reporters Tuesday in response to a question about his support for the troops, although he did not offer any specific details.
Question: "Are you afraid to go to a war zone?"
Trump En Route to Mar a Lago: "No, I'm going to a war zone." pic.twitter.com/yOYZRMQoH2
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) November 20, 2018
Trump on Tuesday dismissed a Washington Post report that said the president has cited safety concerns as a reason for not visiting troops. He also cited “security concerns” during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
“Well, I think you will see that happen,” he said about visiting troops in Iraq or Afghanistan. “There are things that are being planned. We don’t want to talk about it because of — obviously because of security reasons and everything else.”
Twitter had some thoughts:
— jodyjpedersen (@jodyjpedersen1) November 22, 2018
Still can’t visit them in person instead of a phone call from his lavish resort while they’re away from their families?
— Derek Cook (@Derek_D_Cook) November 22, 2018
Oh too good to serve a turkey dinner to our troops ? Obama would do it.
— firstname.lastname@example.org (@localady0959) November 22, 2018
"I know you're making sacrifices for your country, I'm also making a sacrifice. I could be out golfing right now but instead I'm stuck on this call that my PR team is making me do."
— The War on Thanksgiving is Real (@SequentAgentMan) November 22, 2018
"I want to show you this really nice place I have here, Mar-a-Lago. I wish you could all be here, but you're there and I'm not, too bad. Happy Thanksgiving!"
— Mary Hilton (@FMHilton) November 22, 2018