Trump to troops in Iraq: ‘We’re no longer the suckers, folks’

President Donald Trump made the first visit of his presidency to American troops serving overseas with a surprise appearance at the Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq on Wednesday, a previously unannounced visit that comes one week after he pledged a major drawdown of U.S. military presence in the region.

Flanked by first lady Melania Trump, the president posed for selfies with members of the military, and told service members that despite his pledge to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, his administration is still prepared to strike in the region should the need arise—and that the United States will no longer be played for fools.

“We’re no longer the suckers, folks,” Trump told service members in Iraq, where American forces have been fighting on-and-off since 1990. “We’re respected again as a nation.”