“There is no rule against Airmen bringing personal items to be signed by the president,” U.S. Air Forces Europe said in a statement.
“Troops holding ‘Make America Great Again’ hats during President Donald Trump’s visit Thursday to Ramstein Air Base were not in violation of military rules that prohibit taking part in partisan activities while in uniform,” according to Stars and Stripes news.
Rep. John Garamendi agrees with the U.S. Air Force that there was nothing wrong with Trump signing “Make America Great Again” hats for U.S.troops when he visited them in Iraq.
The California Democrat and a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee told Fox News’ Ed Henry on Friday that he was glad Trump made the Christmas-time surprise visit to Al Asad Air Base, dismissing debate over whether he should have gone sooner.
“Whether he should have gone sooner or later isn’t material. The fact that he did go is important,” Garamendi said. “Hopefully that will provide some moral support for the troops that are there.”
President Trump and the First Lady traveled to Iraq late on Christmas night to visit with our troops and Senior Military leadership to thank them for their service, their success, and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas. pic.twitter.com/s2hntnRwpw
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) December 26, 2018
Henry brought up the left’s meltdown over the president signing the MAGA hats and the contention by many like CNN that this was a violation of military rules. He asked the lawmaker about the media double standard as then-Senator Barack Obama visited troops in 2008 while on the campaign trail and was not called out for signing autographs.
“He was signing autographs and it was a nice thing to do for Barack Obama. Donald Trump does it and somehow it’s the end of the world?” Henry asked.
“It’s not the end of my world, it’s not the end of Donald’s world and it’s not the end of the troops’ world,” Garamendi replied. “Sure, go ahead and sign the memorabilia, that’s fine, there is no problem with that.”
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@Scavino45) December 26, 2018
“Signing hats, signing memorabilia, signing plaques, have at it,” he added, though he raised another move that he did not support.
“There are some questions I think legitimately raised about the attack that he made to the troops about Democrats. I think that was inappropriate, certainly supporting the troops. We all do, Democrats and Republicans, but that’s another issue,” he said.
Henry pressed the lawmaker on whether he was as vocal back in 2016 as Obama addressed troops as he was leaving office, attacking Trump on issues like the travel ban he had proposed.
“Why was it okay for Barack Obama? But somehow Donald Trump does it. And you are saying it’s political?” the Fox News host questioned.
“Well, if it’s political for Donald Trump to do it, it’s political for Barack Obama to do it. In either case, I don’t think it’s particularly appropriate, particularly on these Christmas, or holiday visits,” Garamendi responded. “They shouldn’t make it political, either way. Whether Obama did it or Trump did it. Either way, not a good thing to do.”
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