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Political Notebook

President Trump bragged to troops in Iraq about 10 percent raise they’ve not been given

President Trump addressed US troops Wednesday during a trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq.
President Trump addressed US troops Wednesday during a trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq.Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

Speaking to members of the military during his surprise trip overseas this week, President Trump spoke about the raises they received.

‘‘You haven’t gotten one in more than 10 years — more than 10 years,’’ he said Wednesday. ‘‘And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one.’’

He continued:

‘‘They said: ‘You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3 percent. We could make it 2 percent. We could make it 4 percent.’ I said, ‘No. Make it 10 percent. Make it more than 10 percent.’ ‘‘

The problem with those statements? They’re not true.


As The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and Paul Sonne reported, the pay raise Trump authorized this year amounted to 2.6 percent, not 10 percent. The troops have received a pay raise every year for decades.

It is a falsehood Trump has repeated before. The president made similar statements in May to a gathering of military mothers and spouses.

‘‘We just approved $700 billion for our military,’’ Trump said at the time. ‘‘So we’re going to be having the best equipment ever known. And next year, $716 billion. So I wanted to let you know. And, by the way — I know you don’t care about this — but that also includes raises for our military. First time in 10 years.’’

Trump was wrong: According to the Department of Defense, active members of the military have received a pay increase every year since 1983.

The president has made more than 7,500 false or misleading claims in his 700 or so days in office, according to the Post’s Fact Checker.

The raise for the military that was approved in Trump’s first year in office was 2.4 percent, for 2018. The Military Times reported that Trump’s initial pay raise proposal was for 2.1 percent, but lawmakers approved the higher 2.4 percent mark.



Obamas top Gallup poll as most admired

Michelle Obama, who’s touring the country to promote her autobiography, was named the most admired woman by Americans in a Gallup poll released Thursday. It’s the first time in 17 years that Hillary Clinton didn’t top the list.

Gallup’s annual poll, conducted Dec. 3-12 among 1,025 US adults, asks respondents what man or woman, living today in any part of the world, they admire most.

Former president Barack Obama is the most admired man for the 11th year in a row, besting President Trump, who’s second. That’s a rare position for an incumbent president — just 13 times out of 72 polls has the current president not won.

Others on the top 10 list include former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton; businessmen Bill Gates and Elon Musk; independent Bernie Sanders and Democrat Joe Biden; Vice President Mike Pence; Pope Francis; and the Dalai Lama.

Among women, Oprah Winfrey was second, while Clinton fell to third. First lady Melania Trump rose to fourth place. The list also included Queen Elizabeth, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ellen DeGeneres, Nikki Haley, Malala Yousafzai, and Nancy Pelosi.


Judges says cases should proceed despite shutdown

Some US judges are pushing back against Justice Department efforts to halt lawsuits involving the Trump administration during the partial government shutdown.

The agency is arguing in courts across the country that lawyers for the US are barred from working — even as volunteers — when appropriations from Congress lapse, as they did on Dec. 21.


In one case, US District Judge Randolph Moss in Washington denied the government’s request to delay briefing deadlines in a suit challenging Trump’s new restrictions on immigrants seeking asylum.

‘‘Government functions may continue’’ when they relate to ‘‘the safety of human life or the protection of property,’’ Moss wrote Thursday.