President Trump, at an event where he blew “a big, beautiful kiss” to the Marine Corps, said that the military has triumphed over ISIS because he didn’t interfere in their mission and demand a final approval like the Obama White House.
In the first presidential address in eight years to Marine Helicopter Squadron One at Quantico, Va., responsible for Marine One, he said troops in the field now have the green light to attack.
“You know, we've made tremendous success and had tremendous success now with getting rid of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. I let them do their job. You don't have to call the White House when you're getting ready to fight. You know, in the old times — the last administration -- you called the White House and you get approval. Not anymore. Not anymore,” said Trump.
Trump said that the military “just started winning” under his leadership, and he credited military leaders for taking his signals and running with them.
“I let the colonels and the majors and the all of them -- the captains -- that's what they do. They graduate, they're smart, they're tough, and they do their job. They don't have to call me to get approval to go into battle,” he said.
Trump used the meet and greet to praise the marines in his administration, and even asked his chief of staff, John Kelly, to give a shout out.
“Where's Kelly? Where is he? Where is he? Come on over here, Kelly. Come here. Four stars. Say hello,” Trump urged.
Kelly said, “Best job I ever had -- you've heard me say it before -- being a sergeant in the Marines. Second best job, this one.”
As the troops applauded, Trump added, “You know, he always said -- he always said that. He liked being out there fighting. But we'll try and keep you out of the fighting. But if we have to fight, oh, boy, it's not going to be pretty.”
And Trump also heaped praise on the families of troops.
“I want to thank you all. Say hello to your families. Tell them the respect I have for them, because they have to put up with everything so this can all happen. They don’t get the credit they should get. You know, they don’t get the -- the families never, ever get the credit. But they have done an incredible job in this kind of -- when they produce people like you. So you go home and you give your families a big, beautiful kiss from the president of the United States, because we're proud of them and we're really, really proud of you,” he said.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com