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

Former NATO Commander Wesley Clark slammed President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations 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 TrumpGOP leader's remarks on Fox underscore Trump's power White House orders release of Trump records to Jan. 6 committee Ex-Trump aide sues Grisham over abuse allegations 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 ScaliseLiz Cheney is the Margaret Chase Smith of our time GOP's embrace of Trump's false claims creates new perils House GOP campaign arm raises .8 million in third quarter MORE (R-La.) "Please stay tuned to future updates for more information."