Donald Trump Thanks 'Winning' Military, Touts 'Big Fat Tax Cuts'

Lieutenant general characterizes call to troops as "off kilter."

Donald Tump’s Thanksgiving Day gratitude message to U.S. troops overseas took a decidedly political slant Thursday as he ticked off military successes he attributed to himself, and referred to his “big, fat, beautiful tax cuts.” 

“They say we’ve made more progress against ISIS than they did in years of the previous administration, and that’s because I’m letting you do your job,” Trump told forces in Turkey, according to the White House pool report.

In Iraq, Trump said, “We’re being talked about again as an armed forces. We’re really winning. They weren’t letting you win before; we’re letting you win.”

Trump, who announced in August that he would add an additional 4,000 troops in Afghanistan, told service members there: “Everybody is talking about the progress you’ve made in the last few months since I opened it open. We said go ahead, we’re going to fight to win. We’re not fighting anymore to just walk around.”

Trump made the remarks in a video call from his Mar-a-Lago golf resort where he was spending the holiday to service members in five branches of the military, which also included those stationed in Kuwait and on the USS Monterey. 

“I know I speak on behalf of all Americans when I say that we totally support you — in fact, we love you. We really do. We love you,” Trump said.

Trump plugged his tax package, saying he’s working on “big, fat, beautiful tax cuts,” and boasted that the economy is “doing great. ... So you’re fighting for something real, you’re fighting for something good.”

Ret. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling called Trump’s remarks “off kilter” on CNN.

While Trump insisted the military was finally “winning” thanks to his administration, Hertling said: “We have been winning.”

“You’re talking to soldiers and military personnel around the world who have been in this fight for 17 years and to suddenly be told they’re winning now when they weren’t winning before is somewhat insulting,” Hertling said. Also, deployed service members don’t want to hear “about the economy,” he said. “They want to hear, ‘Hey, thanks, for what you’re doing.’”

After the video call, Trump traveled to a Coast Guard base near Mar-a-Lago to hand out sandwiches and congratulate the service for improving its “brand.” 

There’s “no brand that went up more than the Coast Guard, with what happened in Texas,” he said, referring to the force’s impact in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

While there he boasted that the Air Force was “ordering a lot of planes, in particular the F-35 fighter jet, which is, you know, almost like an invisible fighter,” according to a pool report. “I was asking the Air Force guys, I said, how good is this plane?” Trump said. “They said, ‘Well, sir, you can’t see it.’ I said, ‘That helps. That’s a good thing.’”

 The Navy, I can tell you, we’re ordering ships, with the Air Force I can tell you we’re ordering a lot of planes, in particular the F-35 fighter jet, which is like almost like an invisible fighter. I was asking the Air Force guys, I said, how good is this plane? They said, well, sir, you can’t see it. I said but in a fight. You know, in a fight, like I watch on the movies. The fight, they’re fighting. How good is this? They say, well, it wins every time because the enemy cannot see it. Even if it’s right next to them, it can’t see it. I said that helps. That’s a good thing.

The F-35 isn’t actually invisible, but it’s designed to evade detection by radar and other sensors.
The president also traveled to the Trump International Gold Club in West Palm Beach, and returned to Mar-a-Lago for his Thanksgiving meal.

Trump’s Thanksgiving marked his 100th day at a Trump-owned property since he has become president. He has spent nearly one third of his time in office at one of his properties, despite his constant criticism of the time Barack Obama spent golfing while serving as president.