President Donald Trump gets his photo taken with U.S. troops at the Al Asad Airbase in Iraq on Dec. 26, 2018 (Photo courtesy White House social media director Dan Scavino Jr on Twitter)

President Donald Trump gets his photo taken with U.S. troops at the Al Asad Airbase in Iraq on Dec. 26, 2018 (Photo courtesy White House social media director Dan Scavino Jr on Twitter)

President Trump has become well-known for blasting the “fake news” media as the “enemy of the people.”

Now, the commander in chief has yet another piece of ammunition to back up his claim.

Both NBC News and Newsweek ran stories claiming Trump was the first president in many years not to visit U.S. troops during the Christmas holiday period.

NBC’s headline read: “Trump becomes first president since 2002 not to visit troops at Christmastime.”

Newsweek blared: “Trump is first president in 15 years to not visit troops during Christmas period.”

Newsweek ran an erroneous headline and story by Kashmira Gander regarding President Trump's troop visitation on Dec. 26, 2018 (screenshot)

Newsweek ran an erroneous headline and story by Kashmira Gander regarding President Trump’s troop visitation on Dec. 26, 2018 (screenshot)

But President Trump did, in fact, leave the White House on Christmas night to make a surprise visit on Wednesday, Dec. 26, to U.S. troops in Iraq.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sander tweeted: “President Trump and the First Lady traveled to Iraq late on Christmas night to visit with our troops and Senior Military leadership to thank them for their service, their success, and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas.”

The mistake by NBC and Newsweek did not go unnoticed.

Award-winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson tweeted out NBC’s story, with her own comment saying only, “Whoopsie.”

NBC has since tacked an editor’s note to the top of its story, stating, “On Wednesday, a day after this article was published, President Trump made a surprise visit to Iraq to greet U.S. troops. It was his first presidential visit to a combat zone.”

In similar fashion Newsweek noted: “Update (26/12/18 4 p.m. ET): President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived in Iraq on Wednesday to visit troops at al-Asad airbase, west of Baghdad.”

Many commenters on social media have been flaying both NBC and Newsweek for their errors, with remarks including:

  • Andrew Follett: “This is already #FakeNews. Delete it.”
  • James Lindsay: “This is why you get called fake news. He visited troops in Iraq as you now know, on Christmas day. Your reporting is deplorable – pun intended.”
  • Bob Fary: NBC News would do well to stop allowing the DNC to write headlines and decide which stories they should cover.
  • Brian McDaniels: “Same story in Newsweek, coincidence? NOT. Aged rather well don’t you think?”
  • Robert Workman: “They put an editor’s note at the top, updating the president’s trip. Then proceed to run the outdated story, which features the annual Obama trip to visit the troops … in Hawaii. But there’s no bias to see here.”
  • J Owen Shroyer: “You people are disgusting. Not only did President Trump fly to Iraq to be with troops this Christmas, when Obama did it he was on a taxpayer funded vacation in Hawaii and stopped by a base for a photo opportunity. #FakeNews”

One person, Ed Jolly, suggested the Trump’s trip was merely a reaction to the criticism of him by the media, as he noted: “Thank them for shaming him into it.”

Another commenter on Twitter, named “ssfarle”, said Jolly’s suggestion was absurd: “He (Trump) wasn’t shamed into anything. It takes months to plan security and infrastructure for a president to travel to such a dangerous area in the world.”

Trump said on Twitter, “Melania and I were honored to visit our incredible troops at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq. GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.!”

Interestingly, on Dec. 25, just hours before departing for Iraq, Trump actually wished the “Fake News Media” a “great Christmas,” saying: “I hope everyone, even the Fake News Media, is having a great Christmas! Our Country is doing very well. We are securing our Borders, making great new Trade Deals, and bringing our Troops Back Home. We are finally putting America First. MERRY CHRISTMAS! #MAGA”

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