UPDATE: White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders shared her own observation after seeing CNN's report.
CNN will attack anyone who supports President Trump, including the brave men and women of our military who fight everyday to protect our freedom https://t.co/x6VjuUJFdF— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) December 27, 2018
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump surprised troops in Iraq this Christmas. They flew to al-Asad military base in Iraq's Anbar Province and spent a few hours meeting with and encouraging our soldiers, before meeting with more military at Ramstein Air Base in southwestern Germany. Judging by the smiles on their faces, our soldiers were appreciative the Trumps made the trip from Washington.
President Trump and the First Lady traveled to Iraq late on Christmas night to visit with our troops and Senior Military leadership to thank them for their service, their success, and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas. pic.twitter.com/s2hntnRwpw— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) December 26, 2018
At one point during the visit, a group of servicemen and women presented the president with some of his signature "Make America Great Again" hats, which he autographed. It was a sweet moment, but CNN was more interested in Pentagon protocol. As the outlet noted, those "MAGA" hats may have violated Pentagon rules that state active duty troops can not participate in political activities.
Those guidelines say that "active duty personnel may not engage in partisan political activities and all military personnel should avoid the inference that their political activities imply or appear to imply DoD sponsorship, approval, or endorsement of a political candidate, campaign, or cause."
CNN reached out to military personnel for a comment but only managed to get one from their analyst and former President Obama official, Retired Rear Adm. John Kirby.
"It is in fact a campaign slogan, that is a campaign item, and it is completely inappropriate for the troops to do this," Kirby said.
I'm sure Kirby's analysis was an unbiased one.
Former Navy SEAL Robert O'Neill spoke for many when he tweeted this question.
Fox News's Greg Gutfeld mocked CNN for the report.
Our nation’s hall monitor strikes again. https://t.co/LEhJiEerwh— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) December 27, 2018
Other media analysts like Soledad O'Brien chose to just target Trump. The former CNN anchor suggested that the president only went to Iraq because he was "shamed" into it. Melania spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham pushed back at that narrative and explained that the trip was in the works "for weeks" and that it was a priority for both of them.
Trump seemed inspired by the trip.
Just returned from visiting our troops in Iraq and Germany. One thing is certain, we have incredible people representing our Country - people that know how to win!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2018