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 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.”
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.
Merry Christmas!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 25, 2018
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.”