After years of criticism for failing to do so, President Donald Trump visited a combat zone for the first time in his presidency. Trump made a surprise visit to troops at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq late Christmas night.
Trump's remarks to troops in the region were notably similar to one of his campaign rallies, with calls for walls and blame for Democrats. What's more, he added another lie to the over 5,000 false statements he's made during his presidency.
While speaking to troops, the President claimed he had
"You haven’t gotten [a raise] in more than 10 years — more than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one...They had plenty of people that came up. They said, 'You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3 percent. We could make it 2 percent. We could make it 4 percent.' I said, 'No. Make it 10 percent. Make it more than 10 percent.' Because it’s been a long time. It’s been more than 10 years."
As Ali Rogin points out the military has not only gotten a pay raise every year, but the combined percentages of the increases under Trump only give a five percent boost, not 10 like he'd claimed. The lie earned Trump a prestigious "Pants on Fire" rating from Politifact for excellence in falseness.
Trump then makes two flagrant lies in a row: 1) He said the US military got its first pay raise in 10 years. FACT:… https://t.co/ZjK8vLd7u3— Ali Rogin (@Ali Rogin)1545861573.0
Then 2) He said he raised the military's pay by ten percent. FACT: It was raised 2.8% in 2018 and another 2.6% in the current NDAA.— Ali Rogin (@Ali Rogin)1545861625.0
It wasn't long before Twitter users began calling him out.
@AliABCNews @PolitiFact He has used this exact lie at least twice now.— DG (@DG)1545864202.0
@AliABCNews @PolitiFact Does he think the people he was talking to have never looked at their own pay stubs?!?— Lisa Lunsford (@Lisa Lunsford)1545863425.0
@AliABCNews @PolitiFact What we saw was a campaign rally disguised as a visit to the troops.— James Lee Katz (@James Lee Katz)1545872972.0
@AliABCNews @PolitiFact Does he think members of the military are clueless about their own pay raises?— nan (@nan)1545864500.0
@AliABCNews @PolitiFact Trust me, we know exactly how much our military pay was, is and will be...— Oscar Martinez Jr. (@Oscar Martinez Jr.)1545872406.0
They were grateful to Rogin for something in particular as well.
They commended the ABC News reporter for her willingness to call the statement a lie.
@AliABCNews @PolitiFact Thank you for reporting it as LIES.— POTUS Bribed; IM🍑 (@POTUS Bribed; IM🍑)1545866159.0
@AliABCNews Thank you for using the L-word. Appreciated.— Nate (@Nate)1545864577.0
@AliABCNews @PolitiFact Ali, thank you for the excellent reporting!— zipnoff (@zipnoff)1545888449.0
However, many weren't surprised that Donald Trump was lying yet again.
@AliABCNews @PolitiFact Shocked! Shocked I tell you!— CA Rube (@CA Rube)1545869158.0
@AliABCNews @PolitiFact Trump lied again? That’s unpossible. How can this be. He’s always been so truthy in the pa… https://t.co/LYTJ9Q63HH— Dirk 🤔 (@Dirk 🤔)1545881479.0
@AliABCNews @ABC7Jory @PolitiFact all that horrid man does is LIE— Christine N (@Christine N)1545878544.0
Though the president finally visited a combat zone, his willingness to lie to the troops makes one wonder if he acknowledges the gravity of their sacrifices.