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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."

REUTERS

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.

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