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Travel pool 4: luncheon spray
Mike Bender • Wall Street Journal
February 6, 2017: 01:25 PM


POTUS walked into a CentCom dining room at 1:03 p.m., and was greeted by applause from a roomful of soldiers. Pool was escorted out at 1:06 p.m.

In those three minutes, POTUS took his seat at a table where he was introduced to the troops and made small talk.

"How do you like it?" POTUS asked one.

"See this guy? Strong guy. Think I could lift as much as you? I don't think so," he told another. There's only one way to find out, the soldier told POTUS as the table laughed

"See the game?" POTUS asked about the Super Bowl. "Tom Brady cemented his place. He did a good job."

POTUS then asked several of his lunch companions about whether they'd remain in the military.

"Cmon you have to stay," he told one.

"What are you thinking about? Are you coming to make it a career?" POTUS said "That's fantastic."

Seated at POTUS table, according to a list provided by the White House, was Cpl. Walker, SSG Laleman, Spc. Atis, Csm. Thetford, Spc. Wilkinson, T.Sgt. Ramos, Lt. Cpl. Johnson. First names weren't immediately available.

The dining room had six tables of eight chairs, where five military personnel from all four branches were mixed with WH staff. The enlistees, nearly all wearing camouflage fatigues, stood behind their chairs in the dinning room awaiting POTUS for more than 45 minutes.

POTUS was seated at a table just in front of flags for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and United States.

At one table, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sat across from Hope Hicks, the WH strategic communications director. There was a place setting for Navy veteran and POTUS chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was misidentified as a special assistant to the president on his seating card, but he didn't come into the room while Pool was present. Stephen Miller, senior adviser for policy, was in the dining room for a few minutes.

The lunchers were served iced tea and water. The remainder of the menu wasn't immediately available.



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