President Donald Trump visited U.S. troops in both Iraq and Germany spreading cheer before the new year. While mostly a happy occasion, there were some complications.
Trump was accompanied by first lady Melania as they traveled to military bases to share words, take pictures and sign the occasional autograph for those who so diligently serve our country.
In one notable instance, a soldier approached Trump to confess that Trump was the reason he rejoined the military.
In touching response, the president echoed the sentiment saying, “And I am here because of you.”
However it also seems that the president may have accidentally compromised the identities of some special operations forces in attendance.
The events pool report notes that one man, approached President Trump saying he was chaplain of SEAL Team Five.
The chaplain recalled Trump responding, “Hey, in that case, let’s take a picture.” Trump would later share images of the event to Twitter.
While what was surely meant as a warm gesture, regular protocol is to not disclose the the location of special operations forces, or when they are documented their identities are not displayed.
As president, Trump does have the authority to declassify information, so there wasn’t anything done wrong. Still, critics quickly arose to cast judgement.
Malcolm Nance, a former US Navy intelligence specialist explained to Newsweek that revealing those identities “even if it’s the commander-in-chief, would prove a propaganda boom if any of this personnel are detained by a hostile government or captured by a terrorist group.”
Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has not made any response.