Firstly, President Trump did not give US military troops a 10% pay raise. Secondly, it is untrue the army has not gotten a pay raise for a decade. On Wednesday, President Trump claimed both in a misstatement during his surprise visit and talk to service members in Iraq.
President Trump and the first lady visited a war zone for the first time during his presidency and swooped into service members at the Al Asad Air Base. There, the President took selfies with troops and even signed caps in support of him and his re-election bid. After changing into a green flight jacket, he addressed troops eager to hear him out.
During his talk, he lied to servicemen and women about their salaries. The truth is, those in the army get annual raises. In 2018, troops received a 2.4% pay hike. For 2019, they will receive a 2.6% hike, the highest in nine years.
Military pay is determined from private sector wages and calculated by the Department of Labor. Additionally, Congress has a say in raising wages above the threshold calculated by the Department of Labor. Yet President Trump told troops he fought for their raise.
It is customary for US Presidents to visit troops in war zones. Traditionally, US Presidents ensure troops stay an apolitical institution by clamming up on partisan problems around them, helping troops steer clear of political endorsement for any specific figure. He also violated protocol with campaign rhetoric and partisan accusations. President Trump was not supposed to talk about the border wall, a highly political issue. It was also problematic that he took pictures with and signed “Make America Great Again” hats and “Trump 2020” regalia.
During his Christmas message, President Trump joked Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi did not want a border wall simply because he asked for one. Recalling controversial phone calls made to service members stationed around the globe, President Trump spoke about his efforts to halt the migrant caravan from entering the US and defended his trade policies.
Politicizing the military is improper and wrong. The military is the protector of the American people and members are subordinates to the President. They may carry out his bidding but they are not obligated to favor him and encourage his re-election.
To exacerbate his inappropriate rallying of troops, President Trump tweeted on how the majority of workers affected by the recent partial government shutdown are Democrats without citing any evidence. He also said furloughed workers backed his actions and let him know they want the wall at all costs, regardless of the government shutdown.
Have the Democrats finally realized that we desperately need Border Security and a Wall on the Southern Border. Need to stop Drugs, Human Trafficking,Gang Members & Criminals from coming into our Country. Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2018
Featured Image via KTVZ