President Donald Trump reminded Americans that troops were still dying in the Middle East, opening up on Monday about his letters to parents of slain soldiers.
“I have to sign letters often to parents of young soldiers that were killed and it’s the hardest thing I have to do in this job,” Trump said. “I hate it. I hate it.”
Trump spoke about the process after presiding over a signing event for the new United States and Japan trade deal at the White House.
“We make each letter different, each person is different, and we make them personal but no matter what you do it’s devastating,” Trump said. “The parents will never be the same, the families will never be the same.”
The president spoke about the ongoing wars in the Middle East, reminding critics of his foreign policy that he campaigned on to bring the troops home.
“We’ve been there for many many many years, beyond of what we were supposed to be,” he said. “Not fighting. Just there. Just there. It’s time to come back home.”
Trump said that the United States was “bogged down” and spending a lot of money maintaining forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
“We’re willing to do what we have to do, but there has to be an end game,” he said. “And if you stay it’s going to be the same thing, eventually you’re going to have to leave.”
Trump said he understood critics who felt that he was making a mistake by withdrawing troops, but said he was not convinced by their arguments.
“I respect both opinions, the problem with the other opinion is when do we leave?” he asked. “Are we going to stay there forever?”