Maya Angelou, Cherokee Nation leader among women honored on newly minted quarters
Trump: 'Don't worry' about troops spending Thanksgiving at border
President Trump on Tuesday said people should not feel bad for U.S. troops who are spending Thanksgiving at the southern border because they are "tough people" who are proud to defend the country.
"Don't worry," Trump told reporters at the White House regarding the troops, adding, "these are tough people."
"You're worried about the Thanksgiving holiday for them, they're so proud to be representing our country on the border," he said.
The comments come as Trump is facing criticism of his leadership of the military, with some Democrats and former uniformed leaders saying he has injected partisan politics into the armed forces and not shown enough support for troops serving in combat.
Trump dismissed a Washington Post report that said one reason he has not visited a combat zone is because he's afraid for his own safety.
"No, I'm going to a war zone," the president said before leaving Washington for his Mar-a-Lago estate, where he plans to spend Thanksgiving.
He did not say which combat zone he plans to visit, or when.
Trump came under fire for his decision to skip a planned visit to an American military cemetery in France last weekend to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, a decision he blamed on poor weather. He later expressed regret for not visiting Arlington National Cemetery to mark Veterans Day upon his return to the U.S.
Unlike his two immediate predecessors, Trump has not visited American troops in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Top officials at the Defense Department reportedly objected to Trump's decision to deploy more than 5,000 active-duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border just before the midterm elections, a move he said was designed to deter a migrant caravan traveling from Central America.
During a visit to the border, Defense Secretary James Mattis was questioned by troops about the length and purpose of the mission. Troops are scheduled to be deployed along he border until Dec. 15.
Updated: 4:39 p.m.