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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that he helped broker the first pay raise for the U.S. military in a decade, but a closer look reveals that troops have actually received a pay hike every year since 2007.
In August, Trump approved a colossal defense policy bill that authorizes a top-line budget of $717 billion to cover a litany of defense spending. During his remarks at Ft. Drum in upstate New York, Trump lauded the defense-friendly bill which includes a 2.6 percent pay raise for troops. Trump referred to the pay hike as the first and largest in nearly a decade.
Similarly, in an interview with the Associated Press earlier this week, Trump referenced his role in getting the military a "substantial pay raise."
"Nobody has been better at the military. Hey, I just got them a pay raise. I haven't had a pay raise in 11 years. I just got them a substantial pay raise," Trump told the Associated Press.
"I just got them new equipment. They have stuff that was so old that the grandfathers used to fly it. I have done more for the military than any president in many, many years," he added.
But a review of basic pay raises listed on the Pentagon's website reveals that the two largest increases in the last decade occurred in 2008 at 3.5 percent and 2009 at 3.4 percent raise.
When asked if he would consider visiting troops deployed in war zones, Trump said it may "do that at some point" but that he didn't think it was "overly necessary."
"Well, I will do that at some point, but I don't think it's overly necessary. I've been very busy with everything that's taking place here," Trump said.
What's more, Trump told lawmakers in August that he wants to scrap pay raises for tens of thousands civilian federal workers. The move would include civilians that work alongside U.S. troops in the Defense department.