Trump visits Dover Air Force Base to receive troop remains

Trump visits Dover Air Force Base to receive troop remains
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President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE made an unexpected trip to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Thursday to receive the remains of two service members who died in a recent helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

The White House said Trump would meet with families and receive the remains of Chief Warrant Officers David C. Knadle and Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr.

The visit came hours after the Pentagon identified Knadle, 33, of Tarrant, Texas, and Fuchigami, 25, of Keaau, Hawaii, as the two individuals who died in Wednesday's crash.


The deadly crash happened “while providing security for troops on the ground” in Logar province, the Pentagon said. The NATO-led Resolute Support mission said preliminary reports did not indicate the crash was caused by enemy fire.

The president emerged from the White House at about 5:15 p.m. and walked past reporters without answering questions. Aides said Trump was headed to Delaware to take part in a "dignified transfer ceremony.”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Miley and Actor Jon Voight were seen accompanying the president and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpScorned and mistreated, Melania Trump deserved much better from the media The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' K Street navigates virtual inauguration week MORE when they exited the White House. 

A short time before departing, Trump honored Voight and several other performers with the National Medal of Arts at a ceremony in the East Room.

The trip to Dover was not listed on the president's public schedule.

The military mortuary is located at the Dover base, and Trump has previously gone there twice to meet with the families of fallen military members.


Trump spoke earlier Thursday with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, the White House said. The two leaders discussed a recent prisoner swap between the Afghan government and the Taliban that freed two professors, as well as ongoing peace efforts in the country.

U.S.-Taliban talks to end the 18-year-old war stalled earlier this year after Trump invited and then disinvited Taliban officials to Camp David to finalize a peace deal. There have been recent signs of efforts to restart talks, including this week's prisoner swap.

"Let’s hope this leads to more good things on the peace front like a ceasefire that will help end this long war. Proud of my team!" Trump tweeted following the prisoners' release.

Updated at 7:19 p.m.