Trump made his remarks to reporters after arriving with first lady Melania Trump about 7.16 pm local time at Al Asad airbase in western Iraq on his first trip as president to visit troops stationed overseas.
Trump made the surprise visit to US troops in Iraq on Wednesday, his first trip to a conflict zone almost two years into his presidency and days after announcing a pullout of American troops from neighboring Syria.
They travelled there unannounced "late on Christmas night" to thank troops for "their service, their success and their sacrifice", it said. This will encourage Russia, Turkey and Iran to continue to pursue their agendas in Syria and perhaps to leverage anger in Iraq over Trump's visit to pressure the USA in Baghdad as well.
Abdul Mahdi's office said in a statement that US authorities had informed Iraq's leadership of the president's visit ahead of time.
One of the biggest rifts was caused by his sudden decision last week - against the advice of James Mattis, who quit as defence secretary as a result - to pull all USA forces out of Syria. It's not entirely clear when Trump planned the visit, whether he chose to go after the decision to leave Syria on December 19, or before.
Israeli officials have said that America's absence would leave it open the door for Tehran to create a so-called "land bridge" from Iran, through Iraq and Syria, into Lebanon and to the Mediterranean Sea.
For "security reasons", the White House was only able to invite Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi to a meeting with Trump two hours before the scheduled time, spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said. The Syria withdrawal, which Trump announced in a tweet with little or no advance notice or consultation with the Cabinet, led to the abrupt resignation of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.
Iraqi lawmakers are seizing on President Donald Trump's surprise visit to demand US forces leave the country.
"We'll always be there for Israel", he said.
President Trump delivers remarks to the troops at Al Asad Air Base.
While most American troops have been stationed in northeastern Syria, backing Kurdish fighters, a smaller amount have maintained a presence along the Iraqi border at al-Tanf, frustrating Iranian efforts to move weapons and technology. "It's time to get our soldiers out, and it's time to get our young people out", Trump said, sitting next to military leaders and advisors.
He also met Air Force generals aboard his aircraft at the base. Al-Sadr has called for curbing USA and Iranian involvement in Iraqi affairs. That optimism has given way now to confusion as New Delhi felt blindsided by the Afghan decision as other allies, friends and partners of the US.