As President Trump and First Lady Melania continue their tour across Asia, their second stop in South Korea includes a visit to Camp Humphreys, a military base about 40 miles south of Seoul.
President Trump opted to dine with 108 hand-picked military service members, which included 20 from South Korea, to show his appreciation for the troops right before the upcoming Veterans Day holiday.One military member, Pvt. Merion Holmes, 21, of Georgetown, S.C., said that what President Trump said to the troops made their jaws drop on the floor.
“He said he’d rather eat with the troops than at a fancy restaurant. It made me feel like he cared.”
These military heroes are away from their homes and their families for months on end and it must be a welcome distraction to have the President want to personally dine with you because he respects your dedication to your country.
The manager of the military dining facility said that he was nervous that the food would not be good enough for President Trump and offered him something else. But Trump said he wanted to eat the same thing as the troops!
WASHINGTON — President Trump was clearly looking to make some kind of news, but about what, exactly, was not clear. And the mystery, as it often does with a president whose statements baffle even his staff, only deepened the next day.
On Thursday evening, the White House told the presidential press corps that Mr. Trump was done with his public schedule for the day. But around 7 p.m., Mr. Trump summoned reporters who were still at work to the State Dining Room, where he was throwing a dinner for military commanders and their spouses.Gesturing to his guests, he said, “You guys know what this represents? Maybe it’s the calm before the storm.”
“What’s the storm?” asked one reporter.
“Could be the calm before the storm,” Mr. Trump repeated, stretching out the phrase, a sly smile playing across his face.
“From Iran?” ventured another reporter. “On ISIS? On what?”
“What storm, Mr. President?” asked a third journalist, a hint of impatience creeping into her voice.
As the generals shifted from foot to foot, Mr. Trump brought the game of 20 Questions to an end. He praised his beribboned guests as the “world’s great military people” and excused the stymied reporters, who returned to their workstations to start another round of: What was the president talking about?
By Friday, the White House was still unable to shed light on the matter; several of Mr. Trump’s aides said they had no idea what the president meant. But the press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, wanted to make one thing clear: Mr. Trump wasn’t just teasing his favorite antagonists. He was sending a message.“I wouldn’t say that he’s messing with the press,” Ms. Sanders told reporters. “I think we have some serious world issues here. I think that North Korea, Iran both continue to be bad actors, and the president is somebody who’s going to always look for ways to protect Americans, and he’s not going to dictate what those actions may look like.”
Suddenly, Mr. Trump’s preprandial banter took on an ominous tone. Maybe he was foreshadowing war with North Korea, which he has already threatened with “fire and fury” if the reclusive country aimed its missiles at the United States. Or perhaps he was predicting a clash with Iran, a week before he is expected to disavow the nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
“He certainly doesn’t want to lay out his game plan for our enemies,” Ms. Sanders declared.
Sometimes, though, Mr. Trump’s statements leave his own staff in the dark, forcing them to impute a meaning to his words that might not actually exist. Privately, a few aides said they did not believe the president was preparing the country for war with either North Korea or Iran.
But they also noted Ms. Sanders has had a more successful debut as press secretary than her predecessor, Sean Spicer, in part because she has not attempted to clean up Mr. Trump’s statements – something that would rankle the president.
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