Mystery Solved: Trump Surprises Troops In Iraq With First Visit As Commander-In-Chief

Update: The mystery has been solved.

President Trump and the First Lady traveled on Air Force One to Iraq late Tuesday to visit with the troops in what was the president's first such overseas visit as commander-in-chief. The timing of the visit was notable, coming just one week after the departure of Defense Secretary James Mattis who "resigned"/possible was fired over objections to Trump's decision to pull US troops from Syria. Trump also ordered the withdrawal of 7,000 troops from Afghanistan last week.

For security reasons, journalists weren't alerted until hours after Trump landed (hence the speculation about his whereabouts). During the trip, he delivered a speech to the troops and posed for photos.

The president will return to the US on Thursday to continue negotiations with Democrats after Nancy Pelosi said she would call for a vote on a funding bill on Jan. 3, the day the Dems take over the House.

As the Hill pointed out, Trump was expected to become the first president since George W Bush in 2002 to not visit troops on Christmas before news of his secret trip broke.

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Air Force One has been spotted flying over Yorkshire, England early Wednesday in what appears to be a flight headed towards Turkey, according to WikiLeaks and flight trackers - which later noted that the plane has disappeared. 

A Boeing 747 with call sign RCH58 left Joint Base Andrews at approximately midnight Eastern time, and was seen over Hungary at approximately 9:30 a.m. Eastern time. 

"The Boeing 747 usually used by Trump for Air Force One is currently moving towards Turkey," tweeted WikiLeaks

The unannounced flight has led to wild speculation, particularly considering the fact that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan invited President Trump to visit Turkey following the announced US troop withdrawal from Syria. 

Others have speculated that Trump could possibly be on his way to visit troops in Iraq for a belated Christmas.

"Nothing for around 3 hours now on 'RCH358'. Could have landed for fuel, swapped hex codes to another ID, gone out of receiver coverage or simply switched off the transponder," tweeted flight tracker @CivMilAir, which noted that there "was no Marine posted outside the West Wing" today.