It was the Associated Press that first broached the topic with Donald Trump last month, asking the president why he hadn’t yet visited a military base in a combat zone like in Iraq and Afghanistan. Trump replied that he’d do so eventually, though he didn’t see it as “overly necessary.”
He added in the same interview, “I’ve been very busy with everything that’s taking place here…. I’m doing a lot of things. I’m doing a lot of things.”
The New York Times reported soon after on another possible explanation: “One reason he has not visited troops in war zones, according to his aides, is that he does not really want American troops there in the first place. To visit, they said, would validate missions he does not truly believe in.”
When Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked the president about this the other day, Trump replied, “I’ve had an unbelievably busy schedule, on top of which you have these phony witch hunts.”
Putting aside the fact that the president’s schedule really isn’t “unbelievably busy” – he’s had plenty of time for golf and excessive television watching – are we really supposed to believe Trump hasn’t traveled to a military base in a combat zone because of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the investigation into the Russia scandal?
The Washington Post has now reported on a brand new explanation.
Trump has spoken privately about his fears over risks to his own life, according to a former senior White House official, who has discussed the issue with the president and spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly about Trump’s concerns.
“He’s never been interested in going,” the official said of Trump visiting troops in a combat zone, citing conversations with the president. “He’s afraid of those situations. He’s afraid people want to kill him.”
For what it’s worth, I’ve never worn the uniform, but I suspect plenty of servicemen and women stationed abroad worry about people wanting to kill them, too.
They’re there anyway.
Given the attention this issue is starting to receive, it’s likely that Trump really will make a trip along these lines sometime soon, if only to avoid further embarrassment.
That said, the Washington Post’s article added, “Current advisers said Trump is not expected to visit a war zone during the Thanksgiving break, which he will spend at his Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Florida.”