President Donald  Trump took a stealth trip to Afghanistan this Thanksgiving, to visit U.S. military troops stationed at Bagram Air Field.

The trip was kept a secret for security purposes.

Trump, 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.

According to the original schedule, Trump was to spend Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. The secret arrangements included a tight control on the press and heading to an undisclosed airfield.

Reporters were under strict instructions to keep the trip a secret to ensure his safety. Mr. Trump’s public schedule said he would be at Mar-a-Lago to host a videoconference call with troops. It’s his first trip to the country as president. While in Afghanistan, Mr. Trump said he hopes to bring the number of troops in Afghanistan down to 8,600 from the current 14,000.

After arriving, Trump went behind a serving counter to distribute a turkey to the troops, which was followed by a Thanksgiving address that included a side dish of humor.

‘I sat down, had a gorgeous piece of turkey. And I was all set to go and I had some of the mashed potatoes. I had a bite of mash potatoes and I never got to the turkey because the general said come on over and let’s take some pictures,’ Trump told the troops in his remarks.

‘First time I’ve never had any Turkey at Thanksgiving. But that is okay. But it looked about good. I should have started with that instead of the mashed potatoes. I made a mistake,’ he added.

Trump ladled on a heaping amount of appreciation for members of the military now serving.

He visited troops at Bagram Air Field to thank the men and women for their service, calling them “courageous American warriors.”

“I just want to say that we thank god for your help and all of the things that you’ve done. You’re very special people and you don’t even know how much the people of our country love and respect you,” Trump said in his remarks to a few hundreds troops.

Trump also announced that he has restarted peace talks with the Taliban and that he’d like to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to 8,600, down from a current total of less than 14,000.

The troops were thrilled with the visit.

And while some of the press is promoting the idea that Trump “doesn’t understand the military” today, there is plenty of evidence he does understand America’s reporters.

 
 
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