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Trump misleads about military pay raises

By Kate Sullivan, CNN

(CNN) -- President Donald Trump incorrectly told troops in Iraq on Wednesday that he gave them their first pay raise in more than 10 years -- a falsehood he has repeatedly told.

Speaking to troops at Al Asad Air Base during his surprise visit to Iraq, Trump told troops: "You protect us. We are always going to protect you. And you just saw that, 'cause 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."

In fact, military pay has increased every year for more than three decades. It was raised 2.4% in 2018 and then 2.6% in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. The 2.6% pay raise is the largest in the past 9 years.

The President and first lady quietly swept into Iraq on Wednesday to pay a holiday visit to US troops -- the first trip Trump has made to a war zone.

"They had plenty of people that came up, they said, 'You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3%, we could make it 2%, we could make it 4%,'" Trump told the troops about the latest pay raise. "I said, 'No. Make it 10%. Make it more than 10%.'"

'Cause it's been a long time, it's been more than 10 years. Been more than 10 years, that's a long time," Trump said, repeating the false claim.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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