There were no official events on the president’s White House schedule today. This is very strange for a president and administration who is always on the move, particularly during the week with so much breaking news. Many assumed that the empty schedule was in order to have free leverage to orchestrate the signing of the freshly passed GOP tax bill. Reporters expected to hear an announcement for a signing ceremony at any time.
So many were puzzled as the president exited the White House and walked toward Marine One. Trump did not answer any questions except for one: “Where are you going?”
President Trump said he was headed to Walter Reed Hospital to visit wounded warriors for the holidays and “wish them a Merry Christmas.”
The president took no further questions.
Walter Reed the largest military hospital in the country and serves as the first stateside stop for any US military personnel injured overseas. Trump has since arrived at Walter Reed Hospital, according to the White House pool.
The move to visit and spend time with the troops should come as no surprise to those who followed the Trump Administration closely.
During Donald Trump’s first week as president, he left the White House quite suddenly without announcement to attend the funeral of a Navy SEAL. In the following months, the trumps and his administration have spent a great deal of time on military bases and meeting with military members and their families.
Both the President and Vice President spent time serving active duty members of the Armed Forces during their Thanksgiving Day respite.
Trump at a Coast Guard station in Florida:
Pence visited a Marine base to serve Thanksgiving dinner and also went to Walter Reed on Thanksgiving:
Even in a time of such immense breaking news, the president finds time for the troops.
UPDATE: According to the White House Press Pool, here is what happened when Trump greeted wounded armed service members:
Pool escorted into Walter Reed’s USO Warrior & Family Center at 3:27, where a Christmas tree was decorated, the phrase “Merry Christmas” was strewn out across the wall in festive letters and gingerbread houses were on display near a window.
About a dozen individuals were seated at tables as individuals in uniform stood nearby awaiting POTUS. At least two individuals were in wheelchairs and one was wearing a white eyepatch.
POTUS entered at 3:53 and had a brief exchange with a woman in uniform, then moved to a table with a woman in a black beret and a man in a wheelchair. After shaking their hands, he seated himself and listened intently to their words. A request for a photo with an iPhone was granted.
Next up was a table of four where a man in a wheelchair was also seated and another request for an iPhone shot was granted.
“Unbelievable progress since the last time, unbelievable,” POTUS said loudly as the conversation went on. The rest of the conversations were inaudible.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.