Politics

Rep. Bacon: Trump Should Scale Back Politics When Addressing Troops

Nebraska Republican visited troops in Kuwait and Germany over Thanksgiving break

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., said he thinks President Donald Trump will visit with U.S. troops in war zones “soon.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Don Bacon thinks President Donald Trump will visit U.S. troops in a war zone soon — but when he does, he should leave out the freewheeling partisan riffs that animate his speeches.

“He does have a tendency to go political,” Bacon, a Nebraska Republican who returned last week from his own trip to visit troops in Kuwait and Germany, told the Omaha World-Herald.

“You can see the troops out there and you can tell they sort of enjoy the humor, but I think we want to be careful about not being partisan in our dealings with the military,” Bacon said.

Bacon, a retired Air Force brigadier general, believes Trump will visit an active U.S. war zone “soon,” though The Washington Post reported this month that the president has avoided such a trip over fears for his personal safety and an aversion to being tied to the U.S.’ ongoing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Recent presidents have all visited troops in active U.S. war zones. Trump has faced criticism for declining to follow suit through nearly two years of his term. He hinted that that might soon change.

“I’m going to a war zone,” Trump told reporters last week on his way to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Bacon said it is important for the president to combine actions and strategic decisions with words and on-the-ground moral support.

The Nebraska congressman cited Republicans’ increase in military spending last year as one key way Trump has helped increase resources for the military and its personnel.

“In the big picture I think the military knows they’re being supported, but I think also there’s messaging involved, and going out, seeing various combat zones is important as well,” Bacon told the World-Herald. “And I think he’ll do so soon.”

Watch: Trump’s 2018 Turkey Pardon with Peas and Carrots

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