Notorious for escapes and chastened by preceding safety lapses, the White House went to unusual lengths to maintain President Donald Trump’s Thanksgiving trip to Afghanistan under wraps, inventing a cover story for his moves that contained posting scripted tweets while he had been in the atmosphere, government officials said.
He served soldiers a turkey dinner and introduced for selfies, before telling reporters the United States and Taliban expected to restart peace talks.
Probably the most surprising element of the 33-hour roundtrip, that White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham stated was in the making, was that the government’s success in keeping it confidential until shortly before the president left Afghanistan to return home.
Often wrong-footed by escapes and Trump’s freewheeling use of Twitter, the White House advised just a tight group of officials concerning the excursion.
On Tuesday, Trump went to his Mar-a-Lago hotel in Florida as scheduled, followed by the normal caravan of colleagues that follows the president on all excursions.
If those journalists waited for him to emerge for a Thursday afternoon conference call with all the soldiers, each his official program they learned that he had flown the 13,400 kilometers (8,331 kilometers ) into Afghanistan to see them in person.
Just hours earlier, that second set of colleagues had covertly assembled in a parking lot close to the Joint Base Andrews out Washington, a normal death place for Trump, where they had been pushed in minivans to the complex.
They were advised beforehand that Trump will be traveling incognito into an undisclosed site.
Once in the base, all-wise phones and any apparatus that may send a sign were confiscated and not returned at least 2 hours following Trump’s coming at Bagram, the biggest U.S. foundation in Afghanistan.
Through the 13-hour flight, no one onboard Air Force One had access for their phones, such as White House personnel, Grisham said. The cabin lights were largely switched off and window blinds remained closed.
Last Christmas, en route to a troop trip in Iraq, Air Force One has been discovered over England with a plane spotter who tweeted that a photograph of its distinctive turquoise livery, igniting a social networking storm. Many speculated then that Trump was on his way into a war zone, pointing to his remarkably silent Twitter accounts, which had delivered heaps of tweets daily before.
This moment, Grisham said the White House made arrangements to guarantee continuity from the president Twitter accounts, which posted joyful Thanksgiving tweets because he had been in the atmosphere, such as one thanking the army.
“I believed I was going to do it somewhere else”