Twitter sleuths unearthed Trump’s secret plan to visit the troops

Dawn Endico/Flickr

The surprise trip came after Trump was criticized for breaking a 15-year tradition of visiting military personnel during Christmas.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump went to Iraq today to pay a visit to U.S. military personnel there, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed via Twitter Wednesday afternoon.  

But speculation was flying high hours earlier that he was on his way to the Middle East, thanks to numerous aircraft trackers on Twitter. 

@CivMilAir—which tracks flights around the world—shared these suspicions in a tweet on Wednesday morning. 

VC-25A is the Air Force designation for the aircraft. When carrying the president, it goes by the call sign Air Force One. However, today it used RCH358. 

Images of it were also spotted over England, thanks to its iconic baby blue paint job.

The picture was traced back to Alan Meloy on Flickr.

The surprise trip came a day after it was noted across the media that the president broke a fifteen-year-long tradition by not visiting any military personnel around Christmas, although he did call service members yesterday, and visited wounded troops at Walter Reed last year. 

Trump shared the news of his visit on Twitter.

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque