Trump Returns From Surprise Trip to Iraq

President Donald Trump takes a photo with U.S. troops at Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany, Thursday. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

President Donald Trump has returned to the U.S. from an unannounced trip to Iraq, his first visit to a danger zone abroad.

Air Force One landed at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, at 5:12 a.m.

Trump had been hearing from critics that it was past time for him to go abroad and see troops in harm’s way. With secrecy typical of such presidential visits, the president’s plane flew into Iraq on Wednesday with lights out and shutters drawn, coming overnight from Washington.

Trump stopped in Germany on his way back to greet troops at a U.S. air base.

Trump defended his decision to pull forces from neighboring Syria, declaring of Islamic State militants: “We’ve knocked them out. We’ve knocked them silly.”