Thanksgiving: Trump Pays Surprise Visit To Troops In Afghanistan
President Donald Trump made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Thanksgiving to greet U..S troops and meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss reopening talks with the Taliban.
It is his first visit to that country.
"There is nowhere that I'd rather celebrate this Thanksgiving than right here with the toughest, strongest best and bravest warriors on the face of the Earth," Trump told the soldiers at Bagram Air Field.
"We flew 8331 miles to be here tonight for one simple reason, to tell you in person that this Thanksgiving is a special Thanksgiving," Trump said in his remarks. "We're doing so well. Our country is the strongest economically it has ever been."
He also talked about his campaign promise to end needless wars that he says America is involved in.
"I want peace more than anybody," he said.
"We are winning like we haven’t won in a long time," he claimed.
He also vowed to bring American troops home.
"We will continue to work tirelessly until the day when we can bring each and every one of you home and safe to your family - and that day is coming," he added.
The president landed at Bagram Air Field, the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan, in the cover of darkness early Thursday morning local time. The first lady did not join him. He made a surprise visit to Iraq last Christmas with first lady Melania Trump.
The White House went to great lengths to keep the visit a secret after his Christmas visit to Iraq was blown when Air Force One was spotted en route by an amateur British flight watcher.
Cell phones, hotspots and other devices emitting a signal were confiscated from reporters traveling with the president, who were not told the destination of the trip until Air Force One was in the air and on route.
The White House arranged in advance for the president's Twitter account to remain active during his travel. A Thanksgiving message was tweeted from it Thursday morning.
The president was escorted for his visit by heavily armed soldiers.
He served turkey to the troops in a cafeteria, posed for photos with them and delivered brief remarks.
Upon his arrival, Trump went behind a serving counter to distribute turkey on a plate and then handed plates to troops.
He praised the food to the soldiers and told them: 'You’ll come back'.
And the room was ready for the holidays, decorated with paper turkeys, paper pumpkins and paper leaves decorated the walls with paper streamers and lanterns in red, orange and yellow on the ceiling.
After he spent some time serving meals, the president sat down at a table of soldiers, taking a plate of turkey, mashed potatoes and cornbread.
Some 13,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan 18 years after the US intervention to oust the Taliban following the 11 September 2001 attacks.