President Trump was on a secret mission on Wednesday night, Nov. 27, as he flew across the globe in Air Force One for a special rendezvous.
It was a surprise visit as he quietly left his new official residence at Mar-a-Largo, Florida, to visit the U.S. troops at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan for Thanksgiving.
The president arrived in perfect time to serve up Thanksgiving dinner to the troops on Thursday; his entourage included 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-Wyo.) They all boarded with the president for the 13-hour flight from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
‘There’s nowhere I’d rather spend Thanksgiving than with the toughest, fiercest warriors’
Expressing his gratitude to the troops for the dangerous and tireless work they do to help keep U.S. citizens and the rest of the world safe, President Trump said, “There’s nowhere I’d rather spend Thanksgiving than with the toughest, fiercest warriors,” adding. “I’m here to say Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you very much. As president of the United States, I have no higher honor than serving as commander-in-chief.”
“We will continue to work tirelessly for the day when all of you can go home to your families, and that day is coming very soon,” said the president.
Serving up turkey to about two dozen troops, the president stood alongside Gen. Miley, with Mulvaney, Barrasso, and O’Brien also helping out.
The lunch tables were decorated with Thanksgiving tablecloths and banners in red, orange, and yellow for a festive feel, and with the president serving up lunch, it was sure to be a memorable occasion for them.
Fox News reported that on the flight over, press secretary Stephanie Grisham told the small group of press reporters traveling with them it is: “truly about Thanksgiving and supporting the troops:” and “noting about the peace process with the Taliban.” “It’s a dangerous area, and he wants to support the troops,” Grisham said. “He and Mrs. Trump recognize that there is a lot of people who are away from their families during the holidays, and we thought it would be a nice surprise.”
President Trump’s visit to the troops was kept a tight secret, with only a small group from the White House in on the details. In order not to arouse suspicion, Grisham said the White House scheduled tweets to be sent from the President’s twitter account during the many hours that he did not have access to the internet, reports Fox News.
Security for the trip was tight, and all cellular devices were confiscated, including those of top White House officials, before everyone boarded the plane.
It was the president’s first trip to Afghanistan, and his second to a conflict zone, as last year on the day after Christmas Day, he made a visit to U.S. troops in Iraq.