Trump brags US troops on military pay raise

Baghdad: US President Donald Trump, who was on his maiden visit to Iraq, met military troops stationed in Baghdad and claimed that he gave them a 10 per cent pay raise and called it the first hike in more than a decade. However, the soldiers will actually receive a 2.6 per cent raise in 2019, and not 10 per cent as claimed by Trump.

“You protect us. We are always going to protect you. And you just saw that, because you just got one of the biggest pay raises you’ve ever received. You haven’t gotten one in more than 10 years. More than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one,” Trump was quoted by CNN as saying.

The Pentagon has hiked the pay at around 1 per cent every year for the past decade, The Hill reported citing figures from the US Defense Department.

However, according to CNN, the military pay has been hiked every year for more than three decades. It was first raised 2.4 per cent in 2018 and then 2.6 per cent in the 2019 National Defense Authorisation Act, and not 10 per cent as Trump claimed.

Interestingly, this is not the first time Trump has made false or misleading claims on a number of issues.

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made an unannounced visit to American troops stationed in a combat zone in Iraq on Wednesday. The trip came amid the partial government shutdown back in the US and a week after Trump decided to pull out troops stationed in Syria and Afghanistan.