President Trump spoke to U.S. troops Thursday from his private Florida club Mar-a-Lago, telling them “we’re really winning” in the fight against ISIS and in Afghanistan — all thanks to his administration’s leadership.
“They say we’ve made more progress against ISIS than they did in years of the previous administration, and that’s because I’m letting you do your job,” Trump said, in a video call to branches of the U.S. armed forces.
The call was with the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan, the 2nd Marine Raider Batallion in Iraq, the 5th Fleet aboard the USS Monterey, the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron in Turkey and the Coast Guard at the Kuwait Navy Base.
Trump announced in August that he would be deploying about 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, which would put the U.S. force there at about 12,500. He pointed to the move on Thursday, saying “everybody is talking” about the progress that’s been made in the time since.
“We opened it up. We said go ahead, we’re going to fight to win. We’re not fighting anymore to just walk around. We’re fighting to win,” the president said. “And you people are really — you’ve turned it around over the last three to four months like nobody has seen.”
Trump made multiple references to how the U.S. military is faring under his administration compared to how it had fared under former President Obama.
“Believe me, everybody in this country is watching and they’re seeing, and they’re seeing positive reports for a change, instead of the neutral and negative reports,” Trump said. “It’s all positive.”
Trump also pointed to the economy in the speech, telling the service members that “when you come back, you’re going to see with the jobs and the companies coming back into our country and the stock market just hit a record high. Unemployment is the lowest its been in 17 years.”
“So you’re fighting for something real,” he said. “You’re fighting for something good.”
The president spent the holiday at Mar-A-Lago, but made a visit to a local Coast Guard station as well. He and first lady Melania Trump provided turkey sandwiches, giant muffins, fruit, chips and cookies to the men and women on duty there, according to the Associated Press. The president also thanked them for their help in providing hurricane relief.
Trump also released a Thanksgiving video message to the American public on Thursday.
“Today we give thanks for all the pilgrims, pioneers, and patriots who have gone before us,” he said. “And for all those warriors who have kept us safe and free.”