U.S. Air Forces Europe has issued a statement clarifying there was nothing improper about airmen displaying pro-Trump merchandise during the President’s visit to Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Thursday.
“There is no rule against Airmen bringing personal items to be signed by the president,” the command unit said in a statement.
The statement was released in response to a media-generated controversy in which troops were questioned for shaking hands with the President, taking selfies, and having MAGA hats autographed.
Observers note that service members were not wearing any of the paraphernalia, nor was the President actively campaigning in his role of Commander-in-Chief while visiting the troops.
“I think it remains debatable and no certainty that any laws or regulations were violated here,” said Patrick J. Hughes, a former active duty Air Force JAG, “and I think at most some informal counseling on the above perception issue is warranted.”
That didn’t stop CNN from reporting to the contrary.
CNN will be disappointed the troops weren’t punished
While several media members did their best to shame the troops and threaten them by citing their actions as a possible violation, CNN was at the forefront, even conducting a panel discussion on whether or not they should be punished.
Here, CNN asks if troops serving in a war zone on Christmas should be disciplined for having Trump sign ‘Trump 2020’ gear.
Is there any line of questioning beneath CNN? pic.twitter.com/dc4UU3Chyc
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) December 27, 2018
Commentators and a reporter on CNN had tried making the claim that the soldiers were in violation of military rules.
“What commander allowed that to really happen?” Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr asked. “Because this is very much against military policy and regulation. Troops are not supposed to be involved in political activities. The U.S. military is not a political force.”
Guess we can chalk that up to just another bout of fake news from the network, considering U.S. Air Forces Europe has declared that to be incorrect.
Trump and the White House respond to CNN
President Trump and the White House lashed out at CNN for their ridiculous efforts to criminalize innocent behavior by our military in the presence of their Commander-in-Chief.
The President fired back at the network for trying to spread a story smearing the troops.
CNN & others within the Fake News Universe were going wild about my signing MAGA hats for our military in Iraq and Germany. If these brave young people ask me to sign their hat, I will sign. Can you imagine my saying NO? We brought or gave NO hats as the Fake News first reported!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2018
White House press secretary also took a shot at CNN, saying there is no level to which the network will stoop in their attempts to drag President Trump down. Even if it means stepping all over our fighting men and women.
CNN will attack anyone who supports President Trump, including the brave men and women of our military who fight everyday to protect our freedom https://t.co/x6VjuUJFdF
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) December 27, 2018
CNN taking shots at the military and the mainstream media snitching on them in an effort to make Trump look bad is reprehensible, but not unexpected.