Wesley Clark on Trump Iraq visit: Armed forces 'don't belong to him'

Former NATO Commander Wesley Clark slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE on Thursday for making political comments in "naked partisan terms" during his surprise trip to visit troops in Iraq.

"I’ve never heard any other commander in chief, when he goes abroad and sees the troops, talking naked partisan terms about his domestic opponents in the United States," Clark said during a panel discussion on "MSNBC Live."


"It's the United States Congress and the people of the United States who are supporting our armed forces," Clark continued. "They don’t belong to him. They belong to the people of the United States."

"It would be much more appropriate if he would show respect for the Constitution and the way we’re structured, as opposed to making everything a political statement on his behalf," he later added.

Clark's comments came one day after the president and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate GOP, House Democrats begin battle over trillion bill Melania Trump announces plans to renovate White House Rose Garden Trump tweets photo of himself wearing a mask MORE visited U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Germany. The trip marked Trump's first visit to U.S. armed forces in a combat zone, coming 23 months into his administration.

Speaking in Iraq, Trump repeated his demand for $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, showing no signs of backing down over his request amid the ongoing government shutdown.

“Whatever it takes. We need a wall. We need safety for our country, even from this standpoint. We have terrorists coming in through the southern border,” Trump said at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq.

Pressed by a reporter on how long the shutdown would last, Trump replied, "Whatever it takes."

"We need a wall. So when you say, 'How long is it going to take?' When are they going to say that we need border security? When are the Democrats going to say it? Don't forget, the Democrats all agreed that you need a wall, until I wanted it," Trump claimed. "Once I wanted it, they didn't agree."

The partial government shutdown will likely drag into 2019, after Republican House leaders indicated Thursday afternoon there were no votes expected this week on reopening the government.

"Members are advised that no votes are expected in the House this week," read a statement from the office of Rep. Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseHillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video Top House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing Five takeaways from Fauci's testimony MORE (R-La.) "Please stay tuned to future updates for more information."