Thursday 19 September 2019

Donald Trump speaks to US troops from Oval Office in Christmas Day message

The president stayed in Washington after originally planning to go to Florida.

President Donald Trump greets members of the five branches of the military by video conference (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
President Donald Trump greets members of the five branches of the military by video conference (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

By Darlene Superville, Associated Press

President Donald Trump has wished US troops worldwide a merry Christmas.

Speaking by video conference to members of all five service branches on Christmas morning, Mr Trump said: “I know it’s a great sacrifice for you to be away from your families, but I want you to know that every American family is eternally grateful to you, and we’re holding you close in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.”

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President Donald Trump (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

The president was spending a rare Christmas in Washington because of a stalemate with Congress over government funding that has left several departments and agencies shut down, affecting some 800,000 federal employees.

Mr Trump usually spends Christmas at his Florida estate.

He scrapped travel plans because of the shutdown.

He told reporters in the Oval Office: “I thought it would be wrong for me to be with my family.”

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