The Slatest

Trump Gives Speech Filled With Praise for Himself During Surprise Afghanistan Visit

President Donald Trump poses for selfies during a Thanksgiving dinner with US troops at Bagram Air Field during a surprise visit on November 28, 2019 in Afghanistan.
President Donald Trump poses for selfies during a Thanksgiving dinner with US troops at Bagram Air Field during a surprise visit on November 28, 2019 in Afghanistan.
Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

President Donald Trump made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Thanksgiving. He served the troops turkey and snapped lots of photos. The commander in chief also gave a rambling speech in which he apparently couldn’t help talking about himself. He spent about 30 seconds lamenting that he didn’t get to try the Turkey. And then he went on to talk about what a great guy he is and what a good job he is doing as president. He’s doing so great that random people are thanking him for making them “look like a genius” with their retirement plans.

“We flew 8331 miles to be here tonight for one simple reason, to tell you in person that this Thanksgiving is a special Thanksgiving,” Trump said. “We’re doing so well. Our country is the strongest economically it’s ever been. We’ve never done so well. We have the greatest economy anywhere in the world. So it is nice to know that you are fighting for something that is doing well as opposed to something that was not doing well just a number of years ago.”

Trump then went on to praise how the stock market “reached the highest level ever in the history of the exchanges, all three. If you look, all three. It’s incredible. It’s incredible what’s happening. Just broke a record. I think it’s close to 130 days. So we’re less than three years and 130 times we’ve broken the all-time record. And to me that doesn’t mean an all-time record, it means something different. It means jobs. It means 401(k)s. People come up to me with their 401(k)s and they say, ‘You’ve made me look like a genius. Thank you very much.’ They are up 78 percent. They feel good.”

Trump did also praise the troops who are in Afghanistan and assured them that the American people “love and respect you.” And he made some news by saying that he had restarted peace negotiations with the Taliban. “The Taliban wants to make a deal, and we’re meeting with them,” Trump said three months after after he ended talks. Trump insisted the Taliban is eager to make a deal but he suggested that it could go other way. “The Taliban wants to make a deal — we’ll see if they make a deal. If they do, they do, and if they don’t they don’t. That’s fine,” Mr. Trump said. He said the United States is insisting on a ceasefire for negotiations to move forward. In September, Trump called off secret talks with the Taliban at Camp David, saying he was doing so after the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack in Kabul that killed 12 people, including a U.S. service member.

Trump also met with Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, and confirmed he wanted to decrease the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to 8,600 from the current 12,000 to 13,000. In an unusual move, Ghani also gave a speech to the U.S: troops that was filled with praise for Trump.

The Thanksgiving trip, which lasted around three-and-a-half hours, marked the first time Trump had been to Afghanistan and his second trip to visit U.S. troops in a war zone after he traveled to Iraq at the end of last year.