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Fox News Hits Trump for Turning Troop Visit Into ‘Campaign Rally’

The Daily Beast logo The Daily Beast 12/27/2018 By matt.wilstein@thedailybeast.com (Matt Wilstein)

The hits keep coming from Fox News to President Trump. The day after his surprise visit to U.S. troops in Iraq—his first to soldiers in a war zone since taking office nearly two years ago—the hosts of Outnumbered shared some sharp criticism of his impromptu “campaign rally” overseas.

“I just don’t think it’s ever worked out for a president to prematurely declare victory over a terrorist organization,” co-host Lisa Boothe declared early in the segment, noting that it “didn’t work out for George W. Bush with the ‘Mission Accomplished’ speech,” nor did it “work out for President Obama saying that Al Qaeda was ‘on the run.’”

“The fact that Russia and Turkey, first of all, are supporting the United States and praising us for making a decision, there lies a huge problem,” contributor Julie Banderas added. She went on to say she “really had an issue” with Trump telling service members, “We’re no longer the suckers, folks.”

“I would never consider us, as a country, as the United States, ‘suckers,’” she continued. “We have always led the fight in every major war. Military men and women, I believe, deserve way more respect than that.” Banderas wondered what military families who have lost loved ones in previous wars must be thinking right now: “Oh, so my son or daughter was a ‘sucker’ when they were fighting for our freedom?”

Only co-host Lisa Kennedy was willing to defend Trump’s comments, claiming it “speaks to their bravery” because they “put themselves in harm’s way for incursions and wars that don’t make sense.”

“There is a way, though, for both of you to be right,” Fox contributor Jessica Tarlov added, “and that’s if the president had gone and made this trip, which he absolutely should have done, and not used it as a campaign rally.”

a group of people sitting at a bus stop © Provided by The Daily Beast In addition to implying that U.S. troops were “suckers” before he came along, Trump also used his remarks in Iraq to push his political agenda back home. “I don’t know if you folks are aware of what’s happening,” he told them. “We want to have strong borders in the United States, the Democrats don’t want to let us have strong borders. Only for one reason. You know why? Because I want it.”

“He could have gone there and said ‘thank you for your service’ and all the things he’s supposed to say,” Tarlov added before Kennedy interrupted her, arguing that it “doesn’t matter what he said or what he did” because the left would have attacked him anyway.

With those comments, Kennedy was echoing the message from earlier in the day on Fox & Friends, where fill-in host Pete Hegseth attacked the media for “nitpicking” the president’s political behavior during his visit with the troops.

“Man, if I was deployed, I would probably have a MAGA hat,” Hegseth said, “and if the president showed up, he better sign it.”

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