Trump Went to Iraq to Visit the Troops — Then He Lied to Them About Their Own Pay Raises

What is he talking about?

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

President Donald Trump’s Christmas trip to visit the troops in Iraq was one of the rare moments that we saw him step up to the mantle of the presidency and play the role of commander in chief. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as smoothly as the White House communications team probably would have liked.

During his visit, Trump gave a speech to the troops before taking photos with them, and during that speech, he lied about giving the troops pay raises.

“You haven’t gotten [a pay raise] in more than 10 years — more than 10 years,” he told the men and women at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq. “And we got you a big one.

“I said, ‘No. Make it 10 percent. Make it more than 10 percent,'” Trump added. “Because it’s been a long time. It’s been more than 10 years. It’s been more than 10 years. That’s a long time.”

U.S. President Donald Trump, traveling with first lady Melania Trump, meets political and military leaders and makes a policy speech to U.S. troops in an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq December 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Of course, that’s a blatant lie, and it’s one that he’s made before (so it’s already been fact-checked). The truth is that the military has received a pay raise every single year since 1983.

And the “10 percent” number that the president decided to throw around was also nonsense. In 2018, the military was given a 2.4 percent raise. That’s the largest bump since 2010, but it’s still a very long way from 10 percent.

Trump’s suggestion that he had to fight for the raises is also hardly truthful, since the National Defense Authorization Act, which dictates how much the troops will be paid, passed with bipartisan support. In 2019, the troops will see a 2.6 percent raise.

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

The president has trotted out this lie about pay raises before. In March, he told military families that he was handing out the first pay raise in a decade. That was false.

But like all of the other Trump half-truths, nonsense boasts, and outright lies, we’ll probably forget about this in a week, and those troops are sure to be disappointed when they realize that their commander in chief was lying to them about a big bump in their pay.

Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.

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Rocky Drummond

The basic pay raises since 2007:
1 January 2007: 2.2%
1 April 2007: 0.5%
1 January 2008: 3.5%
1 January 2009: 3.9%
1 January 2010: 3.4%
1 January 2011: 1.4%
1 January 2012: 1.6%
1 January 2013: 1.7%
1 January 2014: 1.0%
1 January 2015: 1.0%
1 January 2016: 1.3%
1 January 2017: 2.1%
1 January 2018: 2.4%

Rocky Drummond

Annual military pay raises are linked to the increase in private sector wages, as measured by the Employment Cost Index (ECI). In the 1990’s, the annual military pay raise was capped at one-half percent below private-sector growth unless specifically granted a larger increase by Congress.


I’ll leave the fact checking of their pay raises to our military folks who received him with enthusiasm. The REAL Fact “CHECKING” belongs to the media, who has impeded the progress of the real facts since Trump was elected…and many years before.

2. stop or slow down the progress of (something undesirable).

Andrea Hayes

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John Denney

We know that journalist lie and probably this one is also. Funny how Trump lies end up coming true when it’s all said and done.

Tonia Fischer

Military people are well aware when someone is talking sh*t (bragging, boasting, exaggerating the truth), BUT we know he means well, which is more than I can say about the last guy. He’s our Commander in Chief, our BIG boss, whether you like it or not. And, it’s ridiculous for people to think we’re not aware of what’s truly going on.

Connie Yost

They have not received what they are worth so yes I think they deserve a 10% raise so that the democrats and Liberals can ruin our United states as we know it. Trump is trying to get America great again if the stupid media and Dems and libs would leave him the heck alone


Of course, no president has ever fudged a little on the truth.





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