President Trump took a break from blasting out tweets smacking the "Obstructionist Democrats" for blocking the border wall on Thursday to take a swipe at another one of his favorite targets: CNN and the rest of the "Fake News Universe." The occasion? The latest faux scandal, which is already backfiring on the glaringly partisan outlet that manufactured it.
"CNN & others within the Fake News Universe were going wild about my signing MAGA hats for our military in Iraq and Germany," Trump wrote Thursday evening. "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!"
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
On Thursday, CNN targeted the U.S. troops in Iraq who asked President Trump to sign their “Make America Great Again" hats and their "Trump 2020" patches during his visit Wednesday to air bases in Iraq and Germany. The network dedicated a segment of "The Situation Room" on the supposed controversy and published a follow-up on its website that suggested troops violated rules by asking Trump to sign their pro-Trump gear.
The Air Force responded to CNN's fake scandal by stating that there is no rule preventing military personnel from doing this.
For the "Situation Room" segment, CNN brought on Retired Rear Adm. John Kirby, a former Obama administration spokesperson, who said that the troops' actions were "completely inappropriate" because MAGA and Trump 2020 are campaign slogans. In its online coverage, CNN charged that "requests for the autographs could brush up against Department of Defense guidelines for political activities." CNN then cited Department of Defense guidelines stating 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."