CNN attacked United States troops in Iraq who were away from their families on Christmas for potentially violating Department of Defense guidelines when they had President Donald Trump sign "Make America Great Again" hats and "Trump 2020" patches. Oddly, CNN never criticized troops when former President Barack Obama and his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, signed memorabilia back when Mr. Obama was campaigning to become president in 2008.
As noted by Joe Concha at The Hill, "The worst kind of bias is the bias of omission. And what's missing from this report is precedent as it pertains to President Obama who, as a candidate, signed memorabilia for U.S. service members overseas in July 2008. Not a hint of criticism followed."
SFGate reported on the Obama trip to Afghanistan at the time, though they never highlighted the signing of memorabilia by Mr. Obama.
CNN ran a segment criticizing the enthusiastic U.S. troops for their apparently inappropriate behavior when meeting President Trump December 26. The Daily Wire reported:
CNN hosted retired Rear Adm. John Kirby, a former Obama administration spokesperson, who told CNN’s Jim Acosta, "It is in fact a campaign slogan, that is a campaign item, and it is completely inappropriate for the troops to do this.”
They also put out the following tweet and ran a story regarding the "incident."
"Department of Defense guidelines say that 'active duty personnel may not engage in partisan political activities and all military 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,'" reported CNN, adding, "The questions arose because the hats, emblazoned with the President's signature political slogan, appeared to be brand new and because there are rules against military personnel participating in political activities while in uniform."
As reported by The Daily Wire on Friday, the U.S. Air Forces Europe (USAFE) contended that the troops did nothing wrong:
U.S. Air Forces Europe (USAFE), responding to social media and TV reports that claimed troops who brought "Make America Great Again" hats for President Trump to sign were doing something wrong, issued a blunt statement on Thursday: "There is no rule against Airmen bringing personal items to be signed by the president,” adding, "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.”
On Christmas, NBC News ran a story slamming President Trump for being the first president in 16 years not to visit troops during Christmastime. This turned out to be untrue, as Trump and his wife Melania flew to Iraq late on Christmas night to be with our service members. NBC has added an editor's note and changed their headline but has yet to delete their inaccurate tweet.