President Donald Trump used a Thanksgiving morning call with military members to weigh in on a wide variety of sensitive political topics, a stark departure from typical holiday greetings from the commander in chief.
Even by Trump’s standards of bare-knuckled politics, his comments on an array of controversial issues during what is typically a ceremonial and routine Thanksgiving call was striking.
“This was, sadly, predictable and avoidable,” said retired Rear Adm. John Kirby, a CNN military and diplomatic analyst. “The President’s conduct on that call, the manner in which he politicized it, demonstrated an utter and complete disregard for what military service means.”
Trump, who also spoke at length to reporters after the call, demanded stronger borders and touted US military efforts to secure physical barriers between the US and Mexico. He reiterated his call for “fair trade deals,” defended his daughter Ivanka Trump against accusations of improper email use and praised Saudi Arabia’s strategic value to the US amid international uproar over the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
And he kept up his complaints about federal judges whose decisions he disagrees with.
“It’s a terrible thing when judges take over your protective services when they tell you how to protect your border. It’s a disgrace,” Trump said in reference to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Earlier this week, a judge from the Northern District of California — where cases get appealed to the 9th Circuit — issued a temporary restraining order blocking the Trump administration from barring migrants who cross into the US illegally from seeking asylum.
The 9th Circuit is a “big thorn in our side,” Trump said at one point.
READ MORE: https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/22/politics/trump-troops-border-thanksgiving-teleconference/index.html
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