'We're doing great': Trump's bullish message to troops
US President Donald Trump gave a bullish Thanksgiving address to troops overseas yesterday, hailing progress in Afghanistan and against Isil, and telling them they were fighting for "something real", including a stock market at record highs and his promised "big, beautiful fat tax cuts".
Speaking in a live video teleconference from Palm Beach, Florida, with military personnel serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, Mr Trump said they were "very, very special people."
He called troops in Afghanistan "brave, incredible fighters" who had "turned it around" in the past three to four months.
"We opened it up; we said go ahead, we're going to fight to win," he said. "We're not fighting any more to just walk around, we are fighting to win."
Mr Trump said the Marines were inflicting "defeat after defeat" on Isil, and again credited his change of approach compared to that of the Obama administration.
"They weren't letting you win before; they were letting you break even... They weren't letting you win," he said.
"We're doing well at home, the economy is doing great," Mr Trump said. "You're fighting for something real, you're fighting for something good."
Mr Trump took one of his trademark swipes at the news media as he spoke from a lavishly decorated room at his Mar-a-Lago resort, telling the military personnel that journalists were in the room, and adding: "Better me than you; believe me fellas, better me than you."
Later, Mr Trump and his wife Melania handed out sandwiches and shook hands at a coastguard station in nearby Riviera Beach and told personnel his administration was building up wealth so it could protect the country through military acquisitions.
Talking about his plans for boosting military spending, he said contractors saved the best equipment for US troops. "When we sell to other countries - you never know about an ally - an ally can turn," he said.
Mr Trump said he had told the troops overseas the country was "doing great," thanks to his cuts in "regulation and all the waste and all the abuse".