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Trump Tells Troops In Iraq He Got Them Their First Pay Raise In 10 Years, Which Isn't Even Remotely True
President Trump bragged Wednesday to troops stationed in Iraq that he had secured them a massive pay raise, repeating a false claim he's made repeatedly on the campaign trail.
Trump made the boast during his first visit as president to troops in a combat zone.
Trump, who spent more than three hours along with First Lady Melania Trump at Al Asad Air Base near Baghdad, addressed several hundred servicemen and -women, boasting that he had delivered them “one of the biggest pay raises you've ever received.”
The president also stated — incorrectly — that he had authorized the first military pay increase in a decade.
“You haven't gotten one in more than 10 years,” Trump said. “More than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one."
Military pay, in fact, has risen every year for three decades. It was raised 2.4% in 2018 and will rise by another 2.6% in 2019, due to the National Defense Authorization Act signed by Trump in August.
Although the 2.6% increase is the largest in nine years, Trump still exaggerated significantly, claiming that he delivered a pay raise some four times larger than that and, in another uncertain anecdote, that he fought for it over unnamed military personnel who’d wanted a smaller increase.
“They said, ‘You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3%. We could make it 2%. We could make it 4%,’” Trump claimed. “I said, ‘No. Make it 10%. Make it more than 10%.’
“Because it's been a long time. It's been more than 10 years. It's been more than 10 years,” he continued. “That's a long time. And, you know, you really put yourselves out there, and you put your lives out there. So congratulations.”
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump pose for a photograph as they visit members of the military at a dining hall at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018.Associated Press/Andrew Harnik
Presenting himself as an ardent supporter of the military just days after the resignation of respected Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, who cited policy disagreements with the president in an astonishing resignation letter, Trump also repeated another common falsehood — his claim that the new Pentagon budget is the largest increase in defense funding ever.
“We have secured a record increase to our military budget, and we are purchasing all of this great equipment — $700 billion last year; $716 billion — with a ‘b’, with a ‘b,’” Trump said. “We were fought very hard by the Democrats and others. But I said, ‘We have to take care of our military.’”
The figures Trump mentioned refer to budget authority, the amount of money the Defense Department is able to spend — that’s different from the actual amount of money spent, known as budget outlays.
The current budget authority for the Pentagon is not a record.
©2018 the Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
The Department of Veterans Affairs released an alarming report Friday showing that at least 60,000 veterans died by suicide between 2008 and 2017, with little sign that the crisis is abating despite suicide prevention being the VA's top priority.
Although the total population of veterans declined by 18% during that span of years, more than 6,000 veterans died by suicide annually, according to the VA's 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he discussed Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son in a call with Ukraine's president.
Trump's statement to reporters about his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky came as the Democratic leader of a key congressional panel said the pursuit of Trump's impeachment may be the "only remedy" to the situation.
The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.
The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.
The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.
Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.
Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.
Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.
These CIA officers were the first US boots on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11 — and one was 'Marine Todd'
Before the 5th Special Forces Group's Operational Detachment Alpha 595, before 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment's MH-47E Chinooks, and before the Air Force combat controllers, there were a handful of CIA officers and a buttload of cash.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.