MSNBC's Ruhle Calls Trump's Thanksgiving Visit to Afghanistan a 'Photo-Op'

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Surprise presidential visits to war zones to spend time with the troops during Thanksgiving or other holidays have become a bipartisan tradition that everyone can support. While most view such visits as a way to honor the troops and express amazement at the amount of planning and secrecy that goes into such trips, MSNBC Live host Stephanie Ruhle took Friday to call Trump's Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan a "photo-op" and wonder that if he will plan more foreign visits as part of a strategy to counter impeachment.

Ruhle theorized that the trip was about the imagery of the presidency, "The imagery of the president standing there with troops behind him, the President literally, maybe he’s watching, tweeted a bunch of photos from the trip. That's a big win for him."

She then asked Washington Post White House correspondent Anne Gearan, "Given the impeachment battle is going on, the president is under attack in all sorts of ways, are we going to see more overseas trips that give him these kind of photo-op scenarios?" 

 

 

Perhaps realizing that attacking Trump for going overseas and simply doing his job was not the right path to go down, Gearan decided instead to talk about next week's NATO meeting in London which, "isn't quite the same kind of imagery." While most in the media are quick to condemn Trump's attitude toward NATO, Gearen offered a more balanced take, "We will hear him, no doubt, distort that record, but he does, has gotten European nations to, several of them to increase their domestic military spending. He conflates that with some sort of donation to NATO which is not a thing, but we’ll hear him say that next week. He'll take credit for getting Germany to do things that's politically difficult for Angela Merkel to do." 

Here is a transcript for the November 29 show:

MSNBC

MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle

9:11 AM ET

STEPHANIE RUHLE: As John was talking about, the imagery of the president standing there with troops behind him, the president literally, maybe he’s watching, tweeted a bunch of photos from the trip. That's a big win for him. Do you think, Anne, given the impeachment battle is going on, the president is under attack in all sorts of ways, are we going to see more overseas trips that give him these kind of photo op scenarios? 

ANNE GEARAN: Well we do know he's going to London next week for a NATO meeting. That isn't quite the same kind of imagery and except for the fact he'll hang out with Boris Johnson, it’s not a trip the president is particularly looking forward to. It will be politically important though, because he will talk about a couple of priorities for him, which getting other countries, other NATO nations to pay more, and we will hear him, no doubt, distort that record, but he does, has gotten European nations to, several of them to increase their domestic military spending. He conflates that with some sort of donation to NATO which is not a thing, but we’ll hear him say that next week. He'll take credit for getting Germany to do things that's politically difficult for Angela Merkel to do. 

 

 
NB Daily Foreign Policy Asia Afghanistan MSNBC MSNBC Live Video Stephanie Ruhle Anne Gearan Donald Trump

 

 
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