The Pentagon, in a break with recent tradition, will not host an Armed Forces Farewell tribute to President Donald Trump.
It’s a shame, but not a surprise. Trump will leave office in disgrace, one week after the House voted a second time for his impeachment, two weeks after his supporters staged a deadly siege in the Capitol Building, six months after he dragged his Joint Chiefs chairman into a political firestorm, and after four years of nonstop assaults on truth. One of those disgraces is how he is ghosting the U.S. troops that he commanded.
On Wednesday, the White House announced that this weekend Vice President Mike Pence “will deliver remarks to sailors on the Trump Administration’s historic foreign policy achievements at Naval Air Station Lemoore,” and then to the 10th Mountain Division, in Fort Drum, New York. Two senior defense officials confirmed to Defense One on Thursday that no military farewell is being planned for the commander in chief.
Perhaps it’s for the best. Trump has used the military as a political prop since his first days in office, from signing MAGA hats for troops to giving partisan-fueled speeches in the heart of the Pentagon. American’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines have been made to stand at attention for Trump’s rants long enough. Besides, presidential visits are an honor and a headache for any military base that hosts them. The last time Trump appeared before troops was the Dec. 12 Army-Navy game at West Point. Before that, there was a brief Oct. 29 private visit with Army special operators at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as he passed through on the presidential campaign trail.