By Chloe Aiello
President Trump broke decades of convention on Thursday when his holiday call to troops took an unusually political turn. On his call with a general stationed in Afghanistan ー and during the questions with reporters that followed ーTrump made controversial comments on the courts, trade, and the caravan of migrants heading toward the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
Historically, presidents have telephoned U.S. troops on holidays to thank them for their service and boost morale. But Trump's call, which hit on many of the hot-button topics of his political platform, was decidedly less festive.
"This is a highly politicized environment, especially with President Trump ー that's his style," Nick Givas, a reporter at the Daily Caller told Cheddar on Friday.
Trump has deployed thousands of troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent a caravan of migrants seeking asylum from crossing it. The controversy over that move escalated in the past couple of weeks after a judge blocked a Trump administration order that attempted to deny asylum to migrants crossing the border illegally, CNN reported.
Trump's fury over that decision led to a war of words with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who defended the independence of the Judiciary, that extended into the Thanksgiving holiday.
"Justice Roberts can say what he wants, but the 9th Circuit is a complete & total disaster," Trump wrote in a Thanksgiving tweet,"Judges must not Legislate Security...and Safety at the Border, or anywhere else. They know nothing about it and are making our Country unsafe. Our great Law Enforcement professionals MUST BE ALLOWED TO DO THEIR JOB! If not there will be only bedlam, chaos, injury and death. We want the Constitution as written!"
Former Republican National Convention chairman and outspoken Trump critic, Michael Steele, took to Twitter to tell the president to lay off of the divisive politics on the holidays.
"Give us a rest from your crazy. You don’t know the 9th circuit from a circuit breaker. It’s thanksgiving for crying out loud. Let us be thankful for your silence. You’ve said enough this week," Steele wrote on Twitter.
But on his call with the troops, Trump continued to vent his displeasure, calling the Ninth Circuit court, "a big thorn in our sie."
"We always lose and then you lose again and again, and then you hopefully win at the Supreme Court, which we’ve done," he said. "But it’s a terrible thing when judges take over your protective services, when they tell you how to protect your border. It’s a disgrace."
In a question and answer session with reporters after the call, Trump was asked what he was most thankful for this holiday season. The president said he was thankful for his family ー and for himself.
"For having a great family and for having made a tremendous difference in this country. I've made a tremendous difference in the country," he told reporters. "This country is so much stronger now than it was when I took office, that you wouldn’t believe it."
For full interview click here.