CBS, NBC Slam Trump’s Visit to Troops in Iraq: Took Him Long Enough

In a stunning example of the liberal media’s hypocrisy, they showed off their ballet skills on Wednesday when they collectively pivoted from bashing President Trump for not spending Christmas with U.S. troops to bashing him for not visiting them sooner after he made a surprise trip to Al Asad Airbase in Iraq. During their evening news broadcasts, both CBS and NBC brought up criticism of the President for taking two years to travel to a war zone to visit troops.

CBS Evening News fill-in anchor and NFL Today host James Brown lasted all of four sentences before knocking the President’s trip. “But we begin with a historic trip today for President Trump. His first-ever to a combat zone. The President and First Lady paid a surprise visit today to U.S. troops in Iraq. The Commander-in-Chief had been criticized for not visiting a war zone sooner,” he announced at the top of the program.

CBS chief White House correspondent Chip Reid wasted little time as he chided Trump’s visit to Iraq by comparing it to former President Obama’s trip just three months into his presidency. “It's the first time the President has traveled overseas to visit U.S. troops in a war zone. Critics say it took far too long, especially compared to President Obama, who visited troops in Iraq in his first three months in office,” Reid chided.

Reid also huffed about how Trump “repeated his claim that ISIS has been defeated” in his remarks to the troops during a speech, which CBS and NBC played little of.

 

 

To suggest the trip was surrounded by chaos, the CBS journalists pushed claims by unnamed “Iraqi officials” who gave them a conflicting account of why Trump couldn’t meet with the Iraqi Prime Minister:

BROWN: Chip, the President had planned to meet with the Iraqi Prime Minister. What happened?

REID: Well, that meeting was turned into a phone call. The White House says it was because of security concerns, but Iraqi officials say it was because of disagreements over how to conduct that meeting.

Meanwhile, on NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson was also making a big deal out of how long it took Trump to make the trip. “A standing ovation for a milestone two years in the making, President Trump personally thanking troops fighting ISIS,” she jabbed at the start of her report.

President Trump had come under fire for waiting this long to visit troops in an active war zone,” she added a short time later before comparing Trump to both Obama and President George W. Bush. “At this point in his presidency, Barack Obama had visited combat troops in the Middle East and George W. Bush traveled to Iraq just eight months after the 2003 war began.

In contrast, during his report on ABC’s World News Tonight, chief White House correspondent Jon Karl noted it was Trump’s first trip to a war zone in two years but didn’t mention it was a criticism, nor did he compare Trump to his predecessors. Instead, he talked about Trump’s speech to the troops (complete with plenty of soundbites) and the President’s policy positions for the region.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

CBS Evening News
December 26, 2018
6:31:46 p.m. Eastern

JAMES BROWN: But we begin with a historic trip today for President Trump. His first-ever to a combat zone. The President and First Lady paid a surprise visit today to U.S. troops in Iraq. The Commander-in-Chief had been criticized for not visiting a war zone sooner. In recent days, Mr. Trump has also faced criticism for his plans to withdraw thousands of troops from Syria and Afghanistan. But the President said today he has no such plans for troops in Iraq. Chip Reid has more from the White House.

[Cuts to video]

CHIP REID: President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump received a boisterous welcome as they signed autographs, posed for selfies, and chatted with U.S. troops at Al Asad Airbase 100 miles west of Baghdad. It's the first time the President has traveled overseas to visit U.S. troops in a war zone. Critics say it took far too long, especially compared to President Obama, who visited troops in Iraq in his first three months in office. The visit follows the President's stunning announcement last week, that he will pull the remaining 2,000 U.S. troops out of Syria. During his remarks today in Iraq, he repeated his claim that ISIS has been defeated.

(…)

BROWN: Chip, the President had planned to meet with the Iraqi Prime Minister. What happened?

REID: Well, that meeting was turned into a phone call. The White House says it was because of security concerns, but Iraqi officials say it was because of disagreements over how to conduct that meeting.

NBC Nightly News
December 26, 2018
7:03:18 p.m. Eastern

KATE SNOW: As the stock market was rebounding, President Trump was making a splash overseas. The President and First Lady took their first trip to a combat zone visiting with American troops in western Iraq. At the Al Asad Airbase. Chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson has more.

[Cuts to video]

HALLIE JACKSON: A standing ovation for a milestone two years in the making, President Trump personally thanking troops fighting ISIS.

(…)

JACKSON: The President signing autographs and signing for selfies, says he has no plans to pull the U.S. military out of Iraq but he defended his controversial decision to withdraw the military from neighboring Syria, a move that lead the defense secretary to resign in protest.

(…)

JACKSON: President Trump had come under fire for waiting this long to visit troops in an active war zone.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I've had an unbelievably busy schedule, and I will be doing it.

JACKSON: At this point in his presidency, Barack Obama had visited combat troops in the Middle East and George W. Bush traveled to Iraq just eight months after the 2003 war began.

(…)

NB Daily Foreign Policy Middle East Iraq Syria Double Standards Military Broadcast Television CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Chip Reid Hallie Jackson Donald Trump Barack Obama George W. Bush

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