Unfortunately for the administration, any goodwill among veterans and their families that he may have picked up from the trip has been undermined by the fact that he seems to have revealed the identities of a covert Navy SEAL team. Trump posted a video on Twitter that showed the team’s faces, which, according to Newsweek’s national security expert James LaPorta, is a violation of operational security.
Trump flew out to Iraq on Christmas evening, and landed this morning. He visited the Al Asad Air Base outside of Baghdad, where he spoke to a group of about 100 assembled U.S. troops, the majority of whom were special operations forces. The resultant video, posted on the president’s Twitter account after he left Iraqi airspace, seems to feature several U.S. Navy SEALs who are in Iraq on covert missions.
The president has the power to declassify information, which means that posting the video is not a crime. However, revealing the identities of currently serving special forces is a breach of protocol and could endanger the troops, according to former and current Department of Defense officials.