President Trump held a teleconference with service members on Thursday morning for Thanksgiving before a planned visit to see members of the Coast Guard.
The White House said that Trump wanted to wish service members stationed around the world “a happy Thanksgiving and thank them for their service.”
The call, which was announced on Wednesday evening, included members of all five branches of the U.S. military, according to the White House.
Trump indicated on Twitter that he would also pay a visit to see members of the Coast Guard on Thursday “to thank them for the great job they have been doing.”
It was unclear where Trump planned to visit members of the Coast Guard.
The president is spending the holiday at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., though a Coast Guard visit was not listed on his official schedule for Thursday.
Trump has sought to tout his support for the military following backlash over his decision to not visit a World War I cemetery during a trip to France earlier this month, a planned visit the White House said was canceled due to bad weather.
The president has also acknowledged regret for not paying a visit to Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington on Veterans Day, telling Fox News’s Chris Wallace in an interview that aired last Sunday, “I should have done that.”
Trump also engaged in a feud earlier this week with retired Adm. William McRaven, a former NAVY Seal who oversaw the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. After McRaven called Trump’s rhetoric toward the press a threat to democracy, Trump said the former SEAL was a “Hillary Clinton fan” and an “Obama-backer” and claimed that the U.S. should have killed bin Laden sooner than 2011.
Additionally, Trump has faced renewed criticism for having not visited troops in Afghanistan or Iraq.
He said during his interview with Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” that his “unbelievable busy schedule” has prevented him from doing so.
The president has maintained, however, that he is planning to visit troops in a combat zone, though he hasn’t said where or when he will go.
Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters Wednesday that he has advised Trump against going to certain combat areas because of security concerns.
“The president’s the commander in chief and he decides where he needs to go,” Mattis said when asked about Trump visiting troops.
“There are times I don’t want him in certain locations, to be frank with you, for his security and the troops’ security,” he added.
Publication: The Hill |Trump Holds Call With Troops, Plans Coast Guard Visit on Thanksgiving