Trump’s odd thanks

Pres­i­dent uses hol­i­day speech to pat him­self on back, air gripes

The Weekend Post - - World -

PRES­I­DENT Don­ald Trump used a Thanks­giv­ing Day call to troops de­ployed over­seas to pat him­self on the back and air griev­ances about the courts, trade and mi­grants head­ing to the US-Mex­ico border.

Mr Trump’s call, made from his op­u­lent pri­vate Mar-aLago club, struck an un­usu­ally po­lit­i­cal tone as he spoke with mem­bers of the mil­i­tary to wish them happy hol­i­days.

“It’s a dis­grace,” Mr Trump said of judges who have blocked his at­tempts to over­haul US im­mi­gra­tion law, as he linked his ef­forts to se­cure the border with mil­i­tary mis­sions over­seas.

Mr Trump later threat­ened to close the US border with Mex­ico for an undis­closed pe­riod of time if his ad­min­is­tra­tion de­ter­mines Mex­ico has lost “con­trol” on its side.

The call was a uniquely

Trump blend of boast­ing, pep­pered ques­tions and off-the­cuff ob­ser­va­tions as his com­ments veered from vent­ing about slights to prais­ing troops – “You re­ally are our he­roes,” he said – as wait­ers set Thanks­giv­ing dinner ta­bles on the out­door ter­race be­hind him. And it was yet an­other show of how Mr Trump has dra­mat­i­cally trans­formed the pres­i­dency, eras­ing tra­di­tional di­vi­sions be-

tween do­mes­tic pol­icy and mil­i­tary mat­ters and ef­forts to keep the troops clear of pol­i­tics.

“You prob­a­bly see over the news what’s hap­pen­ing on our south­ern border,” Mr Trump told one Air Force brigadier gen­eral in Afghanistan, ad­ding: “I don’t have to even ask you. I know what you want to do, you want to make sure that you know who we’re let­ting in.”

Mr Trump also con­tin­ued

to rail against the Ninth US Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals, which he said had be­come “a big thorn in our side”.

“It’s a ter­ri­ble thing,” he said, when judges “tell you how to pro­tect your border”.

He later told re­porters: “no­body’s done more for the mil­i­tary than me.”

Asked what he was thank­ful for, Mr Trump cited his “great fam­ily”, as well as him­self.

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