President Donald Trump filmed a brief Thanksgiving message from his Mar-a-Lago Florida retreat, drawing a mix of both positive and negative responses. The speech, lasting less than two minutes, came during a flurry of attacks on Twitter against the judiciary and after a politicized call with U.S. service members abroad.
In the video address, Trump wished the American people a "wonderful Thanksgiving" on behalf of himself and the Trump family.
"From the very beginning of our nation, Americans have come together to remember our blessings and give thanks to God," Trump said. "This Thanksgiving, we remember the more than 200,000 brave Americans who are currently serving overseas."
Trump also called on Americans to remember the victims of "the horrific and hateful acts of violence" and to pray for everyone "affected by catastrophic storms and devastating wildfires that have ravaged communities in California."
"Every American heart is with those impacted by those terrible tragedies," Trump said, before he went on to thank the first responders who helped victims across the country.
The message drew responses from both critics and supporters of the president.
"You can thank the members of the military all you’d like but you’ve been too busy golfing to go see them," one person wrote, referencing that Trump has not visited military service members in war zones.
"Happy Thanksgiving to you and your amazing family. Thankful for you all!" a supporter wrote.
" God bless you always and bless America " 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍— FLASH GORDON (@FLASHGO33239891) November 22, 2018
The video was shared on Trump's Twitter page, where, in between his Thanksgiving wishes, he railed against Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where some of Trump's measures have been overturned.
On Wednesday, Roberts made a rare statement to dispute Trump's belief that there are "Obama judges." Trump continues to disagree though.
"Justice Roberts can say what he wants, but the 9th Circuit is a complete & total disaster. It is out of control, has a horrible reputation, is overturned more than any Circuit in the Country, 79%, & is used to get an almost guaranteed result. Judges must not Legislate Security... and Safety at the Border, or anywhere else," Trump wrote. "They know nothing about it and are making our Country unsafe. Our great Law Enforcement professionals MUST BE ALLOWED TO DO THEIR JOB! If not there will be only bedlam, chaos, injury and death. We want the Constitution as written!"
Justice Roberts can say what he wants, but the 9th Circuit is a complete & total disaster. It is out of control, has a horrible reputation, is overturned more than any Circuit in the Country, 79%, & is used to get an almost guaranteed result. Judges must not Legislate Security...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2018
Trump's latest tweet on Thanksgiving was also a jab at the 9th Circuit.
"Our highly trained security professionals are not allowed to do their job on the Border because of the Judicial Activism and Interference by the 9th Circuit. Nevertheless, they are working hard to make America a safer place, though hard to do when anybody filing a lawsuit wins," he wrote.
Our highly trained security professionals are not allowed to do their job on the Border because of the Judicial Activism and Interference by the 9th Circuit. Nevertheless, they are working hard to make America a safer place, though hard to do when anybody filing a lawsuit wins!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2018
According to Politifact, Trump is only right about the 9th Circuit's record. While 79 percent of its decisions reviewed by the Supreme Court have been overturned, if you factor in the total number of cases ruled on by the circuit court (not just the ones that reach the Supreme Court) the number is less than 1 percent.
Aside from his tweeting, the president did speak with U.S. service members overseas. According to the Associated Press, he called members of all five branches of the military and broke tradition by bringing up politics. In one conversation with a Coast Guard commander, he talked about trade deals and mentioned "what's happening on our southern border" during a conversation with an Air Force brigadier general in Afghanistan.
He also took questions from reporters, telling them the administration "closed the border" with Mexico two days ago. However, the AP reports that only one point of entry was shut down in California early Monday morning.0comments
After his calls with the troops, he went to a Coast Guard center in Florida to help serve sandwiches, reports CBS News.
Photo credit: Getty Images