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

Former NATO Commander Wesley Clark slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? 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 TrumpEl Paso, Dayton hospitals deny Trump claim of doctors leaving OR to meet him The Hill's Morning Report: How will Trump be received at G-7? Ex-Melania Trump adviser raised concerns of excessive inauguration spending weeks before events: CNN 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 ScaliseManchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Sunday shows - Trump's Epstein conspiracy theory retweet grabs spotlight Sanders: Trump doesn't 'want to see somebody get shot' but 'creates the climate for it' MORE (R-La.) "Please stay tuned to future updates for more information."