In the midst of separation and hate in the current administration, the 44th president shows that the people of this country are what presidents should stay connected to.
UPDATE: Trump Makes Unannounced Trip to Iraq Amid Criticism for Not Visiting Troops at Christmastime
The Trumps arrived in Iraq on Wednesday, following a "secret overnight flight."
UPDATE: Dec. 26, 2018 at 4:08 p.m.
In a visit that came hours after NBC News reported that President Trump was the first president since 2002 that did not visit wounded warriors or troops during Christmastime, Trump and First Lady Melania Trump met with troops stationed in Iraq, traveling there "late Christmas night," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
The Trumps arrived in Iraq on Wednesday, following a "secret overnight flight."
"Trump left behind a slate of troubles in Washington, including a partial government shutdown and an unsteady economy," according to CNN. "He's also faced criticism for a series of foreign policy decisions that have left his national security team at odds."
This makes Trump's first trip to visit U.S. troops in a combat zone, after much criticism.
According to The Washington Post, the head of one of two main blocs in Iraq's Parliament, Sabah al-Saidi, "is denouncing Trump's unannounced visit, calling it a 'blatant violation of Iraq's sovereignty'." Al-Saidi is calling for an emergency session of Parliament to discuss his visit.
He said Trump should not be allowed to arrive "as if Iraq is a state of the United States" as "the American occupation of Iraq is over."
White House press secretary Sanders said Trump couldn't meet with the Iraqi prime minister because of the short notice of the president's trip and security concerns.
ORIGINAL STORY: Trump Skips Traditional Visit With Troops at Christmastime
President Donald Trump, who made history as the first reality TV president and the first president to use Twitter to fire and hire White House staff, has now become the first president since 2002 that did not visit military personnel around Christmastime.
"I'm honored to receive the Ripple of Hope Award. Robert F. Kennedy inspired our nation to rededicate itself to social and economic justice for all Americans, and that critical work continues today," Broussard said.
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights honored its 2018 Ripple of Hope laureates during the annual Ripple of Hope Gala at the New York Hilton Midtown on Dec. 12.
Humana CEO Bruce D. Broussard was honored along with the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama, Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. Laureates were selected for their exceptional work toward a more just and peaceful world.
"I think, at this point, everybody's qualified and everyone should run," Obama said, in jest. "I might even tap Sasha!"
We've never had a POTUS and FLOTUS like the Obama's before, and we've never had a Trump before. Two very different presidencies, one wrought with bigotry, racism and rampant white supremacy, and scandal, the other full of hope, unity and service. Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama says we need to pay attention to who is qualified in the next presidential election.
"I implored people to focus and think about what it takes to be commander-in-chief," Obama told Robin Roberts in a "20/20" interview, in reference to women electing a misogynist in 2016 instead of a qualified female candidate.
She expressed the importance of voting, but went beyond that to describe the kind of person qualified to run this country.
"The commander in chief needs to have discipline, and read, and be knowledgeable. You need to know history, you need to be careful with your words," she said.
"I'm going to be looking to see who handles themselves and each other with dignity and respect so that by the time people get to the general (election), people aren't beat up and battered," the former first lady, who said she will not run for president, stressed.
"I think this (Democratic nomination) is open to any and everybody who has the courage to step up and serve."
She even joked that at this point, anyone is qualified to run for president —even her daughter.
"I think, at this point, everybody's qualified and everyone should run," she said on Good Morning America "I might even tap (her younger daughter) Sasha!"
.@MichelleObama on whether Hillary Clinton should run for president in 2020: "I think at this point everybody is qualified and everybody should run. I might even tap Sasha!" https://t.co/E6lGKfK6oR pic.twitter.com/Axrvs7SDZQ
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 13, 2018
Obama and her husband were about service before, during and after the presidency.
Candidates like Trump, drunk with power, have a past, present, and future that mirror that intoxication.
Coming off midterms there are questions about what to do next — investigations of Trump, what lessons did we learn articles, predictions of the 2020 election, but getting back to what a leader, a public servant of this country is supposed to do — lead by serving its people — is a message that voters can review candidate criteria with.
"It's amazing to me that we still have to tell people about the importance of voting," she said. "People have to be educated, they have to be focused on the issues and they have to go to the polls if they want their politics to reflect their values."
Obama explained, "Where I'm at right now is that we should see anybody who feels the passion to get in this race, we need them in there. Let's see who wants to roll up their sleeves and get in the race. That's what the primary process is for."
In looking at Trump's record, most of his decisions have been made to serve himself. His record of cheating employees out of money, not paying taxes, discriminating against Blacks in terms of who could claim residency in his buildings, misogynistic comments, scandals around payoffs for affairs — none of it shows signs of service.
Obama writes in her new memoir "Becoming" how Trump's division and bigoted messaging tactics to garner a movement to propel his campaign impacted her own family's safety:
"The whole [birther] thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed. But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks."
In current times, his decisions in the White House usually involve a lot of divisive words to spark attention from white supremacists, "look what I did" moments on twitter for validation, and little about what the country needs, but instead what the country should be afraid of.
And that is not why you get the job in the first place.
"And for this I'd never forgive him," Obama writes in her new memoir.
Former first lady Michelle Obama is trending on Twitter for what is revealed in her new memoir.
In public speeches, when giving her opinion on the current state of the U.S., Obama never refers to President Trump by name. But in her new 426-page book, "Becoming," she mentions her disdain for Trump.
Arrested inside his Trumpagada covered white van. Apparently not a "false flag" after all.
The U.S. Justice Department has arrested a South Florida man in connection with mailing of pipe bombs to political opponents of Donald Trump, including many Black politicians.
"We shared, for all our differences, a fidelity to something higher — the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed," Obama said of McCain.
He showed "grace, humanity, humility, and strength" while doing "the most impossible job on Earth."
Kofi Annan, who was described by his own foundation colleagues, as "strong and fit" while "he worked until the very end, without giving himself a break," succumbed to a short illness on Saturday at age 80. His foundation made the announcement on Twitter.
Trump's administration, again, attempts to downplay the accomplishments of the first Black president.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders admitted Tuesday evening on Twitter that she gave false information when attempting to tout President Trump's record on job creation for Black Americans.
Sanders told reporters, Tuesday, during a White House press briefing:
"This president, since he took office, created 700,000 new jobs for African-Americans. After eight years of President Obama in office, he only created 195,000 jobs for African-Americans. President Trump, in his first year and a half, has already tripled what President Obama did in eight years."
She greatly undercounted the number of jobs created under Obama.
According to the official count from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since the Great Recession, most of the employment gains for Black people took place during the Obama administration.
From January 2009 to January 2017, Obama increased employment for Black Americans by about 3 million jobs.
"Sanders' error dramatically alters the comparison between the two presidents," according to PolitiFact.
"Rather than Trump tripling Obama's increase in African-American employment, it is actually Obama who in eight years quadrupled the increase Trump oversaw in a year and a half. And Obama had to deal with the fall-out from the Great Recession during that period."
After the backlash from Sanders' statement, the White House's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) said in a tweet: "Apologies for @WhiteHouseCEA's earlier miscommunication to @PressSec."
Sanders then re-tweeted the CEA, adding her own message:
Correction from today's briefing: Jobs numbers for Pres Trump and Pres Obama were correct, but the time frame for Pres Obama wasn't. I'm sorry for the mistake, but no apologies for the 700,000 jobs for African Americans created under President Trump https://t.co/EXGvbliwlS
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) August 15, 2018
"I want people to walk away having a clear view of what this country is about right now, and not what they thought it is," said Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother.
"Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story," a six-episode unscripted series devoted to the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin and subsequent trial of George Zimmerman, made its world premiere on Monday on the Paramount Network and BET.
One of the candidates who earned the former president's support is Stacey Abrams, a Black woman running for governor of Georgia.
Former President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday that he is endorsing 81 Democrats for the upcoming midterm elections and 48 of the candidates are women. Among those listed include Stacey Abrams. If elected, Abrams would make history as the first Black woman to become governor of Georgia.