Trump Is First President to Not Visit Troops on or Before Christmas Since 2002

He took part in a long-running practice of presidents who called troops stationed around the country and the world on Christmas Day, but broke from a recent tradition of actually visiting troops and wounded warriors

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Evan Vucci/AP, File

President Donald Trump on Tuesday became the first president since 2002 who didn't visit military personnel on or before Christmas, NBC News reported.

He took part in a long-running practice of presidents who called troops stationed around the country and the world on Christmas Day, but broke from a recent tradition of actually visiting troops and wounded warriors. He did so in 2017, when he visited wounded troops at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Dec. 21.

Based on a check of NBC logs, President Barack Obama visited troops at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, in Kaneohe Bay, every Christmas he was in office, from 2009 to 2016. President George W. Bush visited wounded warriors at Walter Reed from 2003 to 2008, according to a check of news releases. 

Editor's Note (Dec. 28, 2018, 8:34 a.m. ET): President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump traveled to Iraq Tuesday night to visit with U.S. troops in an unannounced visit, arriving on Wednesday. Read the story here. This story has been updated to reflect that development. 

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