The media has been in a frenzy since President Trump paid a surprise visit to troops in an Iraqi combat zone, outraged that some soldiers had sought autographs from their Commander-in-Chief.
They said little when both Barack and Michelle Obama made similar gestures to the troops.
Newsweek went so far as to seek out an Obama appointed former White House ethics chief to call the President’s actions in signing such as items as MAGA hats, “truly disgusting.”
“Trump’s engaging in campaign activity during this trip is on Trump and Trump alone,” Walter Shaub raged. “Disgusting. Truly disgusting. Shame!”
A Bloomberg reporter snitched on one soldier who was holding a Trump flag.
Trump flag (she dropped it after she saw me taking a photo) pic.twitter.com/LhPwUNdEK3
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) December 27, 2018
CNN piled on by suggesting the troops – serving and risking their lives in a combat zone – should be punished for their actions.
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
The liberal media didn’t care when Obama did the same thing
As with a vast majority of media coverage in America, the things that outrage reporters in the era of Trump are the same things they flat-out ignored during Barack Obama’s time as Senator and President.
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) December 27, 2018
The guidelines referenced above state that “active duty personnel may not engage in partisan political activities and all military personnel should avoid the inference that their political activities imply or appear to imply DoD sponsorship, approval, or endorsement of a political candidate, campaign, or cause.”
Trump is engaged in a specific on-the-job presidential duty. He is not serving as a candidate and is not running a campaign in this official capacity.
As a result, the Department of Defense guidelines are rendered moot. The troops are not engaged in political activity, they are supporting their commander.
By contrast, the image above shows then-Senator Obama campaigning in July of 2008 and autographing “memorabilia for servicemembers at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.”
The second image shows former First Lady Michelle Obama signing magazines featuring her on the cover for the Third Infantry Division Soldiers at Fort Stewart, Georgia in 2012.
Did any media members attempt to get those soldiers in trouble for allegedly violating DoD guidelines? No, and rightfully so.
Obama’s ethics counsel never spoke up
Schaub, mentioned above, served as the attorney in charge of the Presidential nomination program, then as Deputy General Counsel in the Office of Government Ethics from 2006 until he became Obama’s Director of that department in 2013.
He didn’t utter a word about Senator Obama in 2008, nor did he find Michelle’s actions “truly disgusting” in 2012.
Nobody filed a grievance against the pro-Obama troops. They shouldn’t do so for the pro-Trump service members either – no matter what accusations the media throws at them.