The Left-wing establishment media went into another tailspin when POTUS Donald Trump, who traveled overseas to visit U.S. troops in Germany and Iraq, autographed MAGA hats and other personal memorabilia belonging to troops and airmen.
That’s a blatant violation of the military’s rules prohibiting personnel from engaging in ‘political activities’ while in uniform, the Leftist commentariat claimed, as did — surprisingly — some former military personnel brought on the air to offer “expert” opinions.
Well, they were all wrong — again.
The Air Force has issued a statement that pushes back against the media narrative, stating emphatically that personnel who met with POTUS and had him sign their memorabilia did not violate any military rules and regulations.
“There is no rule against Airmen bringing personal items to be signed by the president,” USAFE said in a statement, Stars and Stripes reported.
Some 200 Air Force personnel greeted POTUS at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany on Thursday.
Former military personnel took to Twitter to lambast uniformed personnel who showed up with Trump gear.
“There are myriad reasons for both a Department of Defense and an Army Regulation against military personnel participating in or showing allegiance to ANY political party while in uniform,” wrote retired Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling on Twitter Thursday. “Good commanders enforce; good NCOs jerk a knot in the (expletive) of those who violate.”
Pam Keith, a former Navy judge advocate general and recent Democratic candidate for Congress in Florida, also weighed in.
“I can tell you that engaging in partisan political activity such as flying a Trump flag or wearing a MAGA hat, while in uniform is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and its implementing regs,” Keith said on Twitter.
Well, that settles it, right?
Wrong. The Pentagon’s rule regarding political activity says that personnel “should avoid the inference that their political activities imply or appear to imply DoD sponsorship, approval, or endorsement of a political candidate, campaign, or cause.”
The Air Force, however, said no such activity was evident during POTUS’ visit.
“Any time the commander in chief offers the opportunity to meet with Airmen, such as this official holiday visit by the President and First Lady, Airmen are welcome to participate. No policy violations have been brought to our attention at this time,” USAFE said, adding that no personnel were actually wearing hats or were otherwise out of uniform.
Examples of military personnel violating rules against political activity include attending a candidate’s political rally while in uniform or posting political party materials at their desk or workstation.
An example of media hypocrisy on this issue is not hearing any complaints or allegations of rule violations when President Obama signed memorabilia for military personnel during his overseas visits.
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