President Trump is scheduled to attend the annual Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia on Saturday, and on Friday morning he hinted at something big to announce at the game.
According to a tweet by New York Times political reporter Maggie Haberman, which cited the White House press pool, Trump stated Friday that “I have another one for tomorrow that I’m going to be announcing at the Army-Navy game. I can give you a little hint: It will have to do with the joint chiefs of staff and succession.” That announcement followed Friday’s naming of William Barr as Trump’s nominee for attorney general and Heather Nauert as ambassador to the United Nations.
Later Friday, USA Today reported that Trump will name Army Gen. Mark Milley chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Milley would replace the current chairman, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, whose service dated back to the Obama administration. Trump had also met last month with the Air Force chief of staff Gen. David L. Goldfein about the chairman job.
Trump, a former reality TV star, has a history of theatrically announcing appointments to major positions, including dramatic primetime announcements of both of his U.S. Supreme Court announcements to date. He’s also been known to appoint individuals to jobs in his administration who he believes “look the part,” including the new nomination for attorney general, William Barr, as well as Rex Tillerson, the former secretary of state who is now feuding with the president.
The president will oversee the coin toss at the game, the annual meeting between the football teams of the service academies at West Point and Annapolis. However, in making the announcement at the game at Lincoln Financial Field, Trump could run the risk of making a traditional patriotic event like the Army-Navy Game about himself.
Trump will be the 10th president to attend the Army-Navy Game. Barack Obama attended the game in 2011.
As Kelly is about to depart, Trump drops this clue in his ongoing reality show, via pool: "I have another one for tomorrow that I’m going to be announcing at the Army-Navy game. I can give you a little hint: It will have to do with the joint chiefs of staff and succession."
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) December 7, 2018
Trump has frequently been protested during past visits to Philadelphia throughout his presidency. Thousands protested when the president came to the city a couple of weeks after his inauguration in January of 2017 for a meeting of Republican lawmakers, returning in October for a meeting of the National Electrical Contractors Association. This was met with protests that included lots of pictures of hockey mascot Gritty.
While Trump carried Pennsylvania in the 2016 election, the Republican candidates for governor and U.S. Senate both lost to Democratic incumbents in November, and the GOP also lost Congressional seats in the state.