President Trump Pays Surprise Visit to U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

President Donald Trump visited U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan on Thursday. The unannounced Thanksgiving visit was the president's first to that nation, according to The New York Times.

In addition to serving traditional Thanksgiving food at Bagram Airfield, NBC News reported, Trump also met with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and said he had reopened negotiations with the Taliban.

In his speech, Trump said: "The Taliban wants to make a deal — we'll see if they make a deal. If they do, they do, and if they don't, they don't. That's fine," he said.

"Now they do want to do a cease-fire," the president added. "I believe it'll probably work out that way."

Trump boasted about his military spending. "When I took office—you're gonna believe it—almost three years ago, we were very depleted," he said. "Our military was depleted in terms of equipment." He stated that his administration has spent nearly $2.5 trillion on "brand new planes and brand new helicopters and brand new ships being built now, brand new incredible submarines." While he stated that he didn't want to spend as much as he had, he justified the amount. "If we don't have a strong military, budgets don't matter much, do they?" he said.

Trump also told the service members about future plans for the military, after praising the existing armed forces. "Nobody beats our great Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, and we think soon we're gonna be adding a thing called space," he said. "We're gonna have space covered very well. We're covering it now, but we have to cover it to a much greater extent, and you'll be hearing about that in the coming days and weeks."

The Associated Press reported that Trump ended negotiations with the Taliban over two months ago, after a Taliban bombing in Kabul that killed an American soldier and 11 others.

Trump was joined by acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, and Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, according to The Hill, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said the trip was a gesture for the service members who cannot spend the holiday with their families. "It's a dangerous area, and he wants to support the troops. He and Mrs. Trump recognize that there's a lot of people far away from their families during the holidays and we thought it'd be a nice surprise," she said.

The president and his party left Afghanistan a little bit after midnight local time, The Associated Press reported.

Vice President Mike Pence made a similar trip over the weekend, paying visit to U.S. troops in Iraq.

Donald Trump in Afghanistan
US President Donald Trump speaks to the troops during a surprise Thanksgiving day visit at Bagram Air Field, on November 28, 2019 in Afghanistan. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images/Getty
President Trump Pays Surprise Visit to U.S. Troops in Afghanistan | News