While some critics insist that President Donald Trump should visit U.S. troops overseas, Defense Secretary James Mattis thinks it unwise. In fact, the SecDef told reporters on Wednesday that he has urged the president to stay away from war zones.

  • “The president is the commander in chief and he decides where he needs to go,” Mattis said. “There are times I don’t want him in certain locations – to be frank with you – for his security and the troops’ security. There’s places that I’ve been very straightforward, I don’t want him to go at certain times.”
  • Mattis declined to say which countries he has advised the president not to visit.
  • Since taking office nearly two years ago, Trump has not visited U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere downrange. The president said during a Nov. 18 Fox News interview that such a trip could be in the works, but he declined to provide specifics, citing security concerns.
  • As the president prepared to leave the White House for Florida on Tuesday, a reporter asked the president if he is afraid to visit U.S. troops in a war zone.
  • “No, I'm going to a war zone,” Trump replied.

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