Retired U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell weighed in on what it means to the U.S. military to have their commander-in-chief visit troops abroad, adding that with the way the media covers President Donald Trump, “he can’t win.”
“What I found truly remarkable about this is how the mainstream media roundly criticized the president for not visiting the troops at Christmas,” Parnell said Friday on “Fox and Friends.” “When they found out that [Trump] was there in Iraq, 24 hours later they criticized the manner in which he visited the troops!”
“President Trump can’t win,” he added.
Parnell, having served in the military fighting against America’s foes including al-Qaida and the Taliban, said he knows how much it means to these brave men and women to have high-profile visitors on their bases, let alone the president.
“Clearly the troops love and adore him. Even if you don’t agree with all his political positions, he’s still the commander of the United States military and you show him deference and respect,” said Parnell, also a New York Times best-selling author. “He was surely and clearly met with enthusiasm.”
The former Army infantry captain feels Trump “should fight back against the media any chance he gets, because he did a great job out there visiting the troops. I was very proud to be an American watching him out there.” (RELATED: Best Photos From Trump And Melania’s First Trip To A War Zone)
Parnell suggested the way in which troops reacted to meeting Trump was slightly different from how former President Barack Obama was met when he visited with members of the military.
“I think American troops feel that President Trump has their backs, he’s a fighter. As a leader, your decisions aren’t alway going to be popular and I think people in the military know that.”
CNN published an article Wednesday accusing U.S. military service members of violating military protocol by engaging in “partisan political activities” after having Trump sign red “Make America Great Again” hats.
Parnell saw this move as the media “passively attacking the troops” at Christmastime in combat, which he says is “not a good look.”
“These men and women are making life and death decisions. The fact of the matter is, when you’re in combat, you don’t know if you’re going to be around tomorrow,” Parnell said. “So if you’ve got a MAGA hat in your bag or if you have a Trump flag in your bag and you want to bring it to have the president sign it, gosh, just let them have it.”
Trump’s visit to troops abroad came nearly two years into his presidency, a timeline that drew criticism from many of his opponents who prematurely chided him by saying he was “the first president since 2002 not to visit troops at Christmastime.”
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