President Makes Surprise Thanksgiving Trip to Troops in Afghanistan; Trump Says Peace Talks With Taliban Have Resumed

By CBS News. President Trump showed up in Afghanistan on Thursday for a surprise Thanksgiving visit with troops engaged in America’s longest-ever military conflict. Mr. Trump arrived at Bagram Air Field shortly after 8:30 p.m. local time and spent more than two-and-a-half hours on the ground, speaking to troops and meeting with Afghanistan’s president.

Reporters were under strict instructions to keep the trip a secret to ensure his safety. Mr. Trump’s public schedule said he would be at Mar-a-Lago to host a videoconference call with troops. It’s his first trip to the country as president. While in Afghanistan, Mr. Trump said he hopes to bring the number of troops in Afghanistan down to 8,600 from the current 14,000. . .

During his whirlwind trip, the president served turkey to troops. Military personnel told reporters on the ground there were roughly 500 troops in the rooms where the president went.

“There’s nowhere I’d rather celebrate this Thanksgiving than right here with the toughest, strongest, best and bravest warriors on the face of the earth – you are indeed that,” the president told the troops. (Read more from “President Makes Surprise Thanksgiving Trip to Troops in Afghanistan” HERE)

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Trump Says Peace Talks With Taliban Have Resumed During Surprise Visit to Afghanistan

By Fox News. On a surprise trip to Afghanistan on Thursday, President Trump said that the United States has reopened peace talks with the Taliban – just three months after the president scuttled negotiations between Washington and the Afghan insurgents following a terror attack that killed 11 people, including one U.S. soldier.

Trump, who made his first trip to Afghanistan under a veil of secrecy for security reasons, told troops gathered at the Air Force base for Thanksgiving dinner that the Taliban “wants to make a deal very badly.”

“We’re going to stay until such time as we have a deal, or we have total victory, and they want to make to make a deal very badly,” Trump said. “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.” . . .

The president arrived in Afghanistan just in time to serve troops Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. Standing alongside Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, he dished out turkey to roughly two dozen troops at a dining facility decorated with red, orange and yellow Thanksgiving banners and tablecloths. Mulvaney, Barrasso, and O’Brien were also behind the counter.

“There’s nowhere I’d rather spend Thanksgiving than with the toughest, fiercest warriors,” Trump said. “I’m here to say Happy Thanksgiving and thank you very much. As president of the United States, I have no higher honor than serving as commander-in-chief.” (Read more from “Trump Says Peace Talks With Taliban Have Resumed During Surprise Visit to Afghanistan” HERE)

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