Donald Trump does not want to visit with troops in combat zones because he is afraid that he’ll be around people who want to kill him, anonymous White House staffers tell Canadian newspaper National Post.
As of this writing, Donald Trump has not visited American troops in an active combat zone – something that he says he plans to remedy at some unspecified point in the future. Speaking Sunday to Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Trump said that there are plans afoot for him to visit an active combat zone, but he didn’t give specifics, citing security concerns.
“I think you will see that happen. There are things that are being planned. We don’t want to talk about it because of security reasons and everything else.”
The reason why Trump hasn’t visited any active combat zones depends largely on whom you ask. Trump, for his part, has made it clear to his staffers that he doesn’t want to be associated with wars that he views as “failures,” they say, speaking on condition of anonymity.
For example, he’s called the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan “total shames,” even though he did eventually acquiesce to Defense Secretary James Mattis’ request to increase the number of troops fighting the ongoing wars in both regions.
Ahead of Thanksgiving on Thursday, Donald Trump's granted a presidential pardon to a turkey in a ceremony at the White House. 'Peas' will live out its days in Virginia where it'll be cared for by university students and vets. #HeartNews pic.twitter.com/CfcmwNqxVo— Heart London News (@HeartLondonNews) November 20, 2018
However, there is also a couple of far more mundane reasons, according to staffers. One is that he dreads the long flights. The other is that he is afraid of being harmed.
“He’s never been interested in going. He’s afraid of those situations. He’s afraid people want to kill him.”
That Trump hasn’t visited an active combat zone in nearly two years in office has not escaped his critics. For example, former Bush administration official Eliot Cohen has pointed it out repeatedly.
“The point is American servicemen and women are on the ground in these places. They are getting killed. I think any good leader would want to see something for themselves. And they would want to do something for the troops other than using them as props.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s relationship with the military is a bit of a mixed bag. Though he often paints himself as a champion of America’s military might, he has also publicly butted heads with people associated with the military. He has, for example, publicly attacked the family of a U.S. serviceman killed in battle, and just this week he publicly criticized the former Navy admiral who orchestrated the raid that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.