The left-wing media flipped out and then spread inaccurate accounts about President Donald Trump’s visit to troops in Iraq, where military members cheered him and asked for his autograph on their trademark Make America Great Again hats.
Newsweek reported on a former Obama staffer’s comments on Trump’s visit and the troops’ support for the president, calling it “truly disgusting.”
Pictures and footage of the visit on Wednesday showed Trump signing “Make America Great Again” hats and “Trump 2020” patches for troops during his and first lady Melania Trump’s three-hour trip to greet service members in Iraq.
Shortly after, former-White House ethics chief Walter Shaub took to Twitter to “shame” and condemn the president for behavior he considered “truly disgusting” at the al-Asad Air Base — a joint U.S.-Iraqi military base west of Baghdad.
“I took down a tweet about what Trump did on his trip to Iraq because I’m worried about the chance that someone might blame the soldiers. It’s not their fault,” Shaub tweeted. “Trump’s engaging in campaign activity during this trip is on Trump and Trump alone. Disgusting. Truly disgusting. Shame!”
Newsweek reported that the troops could have violated Department of Defense guidelines on military members engaging in political activities that say, “active duty personnel may not engage in partisan political activities and all military personnel should avoid the inference that their political activities imply or appear to imply DoD sponsorship, approval, or endorsement of a political candidate, campaign, or cause.”
CNN also looked for fault with Trump and the troops, citing the same DOD guidelines and seeking comment from retired Rear Adm. John Kirby, former Obama administration spokesperson and now a CNN analyst.
“It is, in fact, a campaign slogan, that is a campaign item, and it is completely inappropriate for the troops to do this,” Kirby said on CNN’s The Situation Room.
Kirby also blamed Trump in his remarks.
“Every time [Trump is] around military audiences, he tends to politicize it, and he brings in complaints and grievances from outside the realm of military policy.”
The Law and Crime website reported on former Associate White House Counsel Ian Bassin, who now heads the leftist Protect Democracy.
Bassin tweeted on Wednesday that if Trump signed and handed out MAGA hats for troops, it would be a violation of the Hatch Act that prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity in support of a candidate or campaign.
Not just inappropriate, a violation of the Hatch Act, if true.
Back when I was the Hatch Act lawyer in the White House (apparently they no longer employ one), this would mean campaign would have to pay appropriate costs for the trip. Reporters should ask if Trump Campaign will. https://t.co/o8rYMgVj0c
— Ian Bassin (@ianbassin) December 27, 2018
Law and Order reported:
There’s just one problem. The Hatch Act does not apply to the president.
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC), which handles Hatch Act matters, issued guidance earlier this year that says an incumbent president running for reelection counts as a candidate under the Act, so federal employees can’t engage in activity “directed at the success or failure of the President’s candidacy.”
The President, however, is specifically excluded from those “federal employees” covered by the Act.
“The term ‘federal employee’ does not include “a member of the uniformed services or an individual employed or holding office in the government of the District of Columbia,’” Law and Order noted.
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