Donald Trump to Afghanistan: Inside of the President’s sneak Thanksgiving journey

Nov 29, 2019 News

Donald Trump to Afghanistan: Inside of the President’s sneak Thanksgiving journey

The 16-hour vacation — moreover the 3 much more Trump put in on the floor at Bagram Air Field north of Kabul — had been shrouded in secrecy beneath the protocol that a war zone take a look at by the US commander in chief needs. At 2 p.m. on Thursday, reporters traveling with the President ended up licensed to report on his pay a visit to, minutes just before Air Power A single took off to return Trump to Florida.

Trump’s excursion began late Wednesday evening. Right after quietly leaving Mar-a-Lago, the President boarded a army airplane at an undisclosed airport and took off at 7:20 p.m. en route to Joint Base Andrews, the military foundation just outside the house of Washington. The 747 Trump applied to travel to Florida before in the 7 days remained guarded on the tarmac of Palm Beach front International airport throughout the overseas outing.

The army aircraft experienced just four blue leather-based chairs and a portable bathroom on board. Only a handful of aides and a single member of the touring push pool joined Trump for that flight. Just after landing at Joint Base Andrews at about 9:30 p.m., Trump boarded the second Air Pressure A single 747 — which was stowed away inside a hangar, out of sight — wherever the remainder of the traveling press pool was by now on board.

White Household officials and reporters alike have been stripped of their cell phones and other electronic equipment ahead of takeoff. With windows drawn and the plane’s interior lights shut off, Air Drive A person remaining at 10:08 p.m. Reporters on board did not find out the place they were being heading until finally about two hours in advance of touching down in Afghanistan.

“It is a dangerous space and he desires to guidance the troops,” White Residence push secretary Stephanie Grisham explained aboard Air Force Just one as she briefed reporters on the President’s vacation spot. “He and Mrs. Trump realize that there is certainly a large amount of folks significantly away from their family members in the course of the holiday seasons and we assumed it’d be a wonderful shock.”

Trump’s airplane landed at Bagram Air Base at 8:33 p.m. area time in pitch darkness. Window curtains had been drawn as soon as once more and the plane’s lights have been shut off to conceal Trump’s arrival.

Reporters were not permitted to report on Trump’s check out right until minutes right before boarding Air Power A single once again to return to the US.

Organizing for the journey began months ahead of time, but only a incredibly limited circle of White Property officials were aware. And the White Household went to new lengths to avoid arousing suspicion.

On Thursday early morning, the @realDonaldTrump account posted an unremarkable tweet wishing People in america a joyful Thanksgiving. That tweet and various other retweets late Wednesday and early Thursday experienced in actuality been scheduled ahead of time to avoid arousing suspicions around a President who hardly ever goes a dozen hours with no taking to social media.

The trip was Trump’s very first to Afghanistan and only his 2nd to a war zone, adhering to the in the same way secretive vacation to Iraq for Xmas last 12 months. That time, Trump’s address was fundamentally blown just before Trump landed in Iraq, with aircraft spotters in the United Kingdom posted pictures of the very easily-recognizable blue and white Air Pressure Just one jet touring across clear skies.

Becoming a member of Trump this time were just a handful of aides: performing White Home chief of team Mick Mulvaney, national protection adviser Robert O’Brien, deputy White House push secretary Judd Deere and Grisham. Sen. John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, also joined Trump for the vacation.

As Trump stepped off the plane at the US’s biggest air base in Afghanistan, he was greeted by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Personnel, Gen. Mark Milley. Two surveillance blimps could be seen in the night sky overhead.

Trump arrived in time to serve Thanksgiving dinner to about two dozen troops ahead of sitting down to take in with Barrasso and a commander based at Bagram. Actively playing at the rear of them even though they ate: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, beamed stay from back in New York.