December 26, 2018
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Media captionUS President Donald Trump: ‘We’re no longer the suckers, folks’

Donald Trump’s unannounced Christmas visit to US troops in Iraq succeeded as a morale-boosting exercise, judging from the standing ovation the president got. Equally, and perhaps predictably, the trip had its controversial moments – and his legendary attachment to social media had something to do with it.

Recognition: ‘We’re no longer the suckers’

Mr Trump travelled to al-Asad airbase, west of Baghdad, to thank armed forces personnel for what they had achieved in Iraq against Islamic State (IS), the Sunni Muslim militant group, during his tenure as commander-in-chief:

“Two years ago when I became president they were a very dominant group, today they’re not so dominant any more. Great job.”

“We’re no longer the suckers, folks,” he said. “We’re respected again as a nation.”

Image copyrightAFP
Image caption President Trump and his wife met military personnel at the al-Asad airbase, west of Baghdad

Mr Trump was accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump on the first trip of his presidency to a war zone. The couple walked amid troops, posing for selfies and signing autographs.

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