US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to defend American soldiers who brought MAGA hats to their meeting with the president in order to get them signed by the POTUS. Trump said that he couldn't say "no" to "brave young people" serving in the US armed forces.
CNN & others within the Fake News Universe were going wild about my signing MAGA hats for our military in Iraq and Germany. If these brave young people ask me to sign their hat, I will sign. Can you imagine my saying NO? We brought or gave NO hats as the Fake News first reported!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2018
He slammed CNN and other media from what he called "the Fake News Universe" for allegedly misreporting the case and rejected the notion that the hats had been distributed to US troops at the event. Earlier, retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling and Retired Rear Admiral John Kirby suggested on CNN that the soldiers could have violated the Hatch Act, which bars them from participating in political campaigning, by bringing MAGA hats to the meeting with Trump.
Trump's attempt to defend the US servicemen caused a stir on social media, with many people arguing that they actually violated the rules with their actions…
It is strictly forbidden regardless.— El Rey de los Gusanos (@SonOfBabylon75) December 28, 2018
Its actually a violation of the UCMJ while in uniform for service members….— Michael Tippins (@iam99problems) December 28, 2018
…and that he should have declined their request, citing these very rules.
A strong leader would use it as a teaching moment and decline.— Leslie (@purplesofa) December 28, 2018
Some, however, didn't believe Trump's words about American soldiers bringing their own hats, suggesting that they wouldn't look so good if they weren't new.
They did look to be in very good condition for hats that would have been packed into kit bags in dusty conditions……— H (@stitchinbee5842) December 28, 2018
One twitterian suggested that the signing session was just a smart move by the servicemen, who may be willing to ensure a prosperous future by selling the hats at auctions at a later time.
HaHaHa….. they want the hats signed to resell after impeachment proceedings! Value could be very high then!!!!!— laura volckaerts (@lauravolckaerts) December 28, 2018
Many Trump supporters discarded the accusations against the US president as "noise" that had no bearing on his real achievements in the post.
Trump haters be dammed, the president is doing a good job considering all the obstruction & bad press.— John Moran (@john123tek) December 28, 2018
Ignore the Noise Mr President 🇺🇸👍🏻— Steven Traill (@steven_traill) December 28, 2018
They also noted that the servicemen who were gladly coming to the meeting with Trump was a sign of how much support he actually has among US military personnel.
Word had it when Obama went there, they were looking for people to enlist at meeting him. We all know the story, and it is a long democrat tradition. My father damn near lost his job because of what he believed in, but dems in Balt gov, did anything they wanted. Our crime stats.— Michael W Kohlman (@MichaelKohlman) December 28, 2018
Trump and First Lady Melania went on a surprise trip to Iraq on 26 December to visit US troops serving overseas. On his way back to the US, they also visited servicemen stationed at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.