During his initial trip visiting U.S. troops inside a war zone, President Donald Trump tweeted a montage of videos featuring members of the U.S. navy seals.
The identities of these navy seals were not obscured prior to Trump's tweet, possibly putting their safety at risk.
According to Newsweek, Trump's tweet possibly outed members of SEAL Team Five. In addition, by logical extension, the tweet revealed the existence of ongoing covert operations in Iraq.
After Trump left Iraqi airspace, the president posted a video to his Twitter account of his time spent with American forces during his visit to Iraq. Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA,” plays over the video and shows the president and the first lady posing for pictures with service members that appear to be from SEAL Team Five.
The special warfare operators are dressed in full battle gear and wearing night vision goggles. Malcolm Nance, a former U.S. Navy intelligence specialist with experience in Iraq told Newsweek on Wednesday that posting the video was a break from traditional procedures that are usually strictly enforced and designed to safeguard the identities of U.S. special operation forces, especially when deployed to a combat zone.
A Pentagon official said:
“Even during special operation demonstrations for congressional delegations or for the president or vice president, personnel either have their faces covered or their face is digitally blurred prior to a release to the general public,” the official said. The president’s video did not blur the faces of special operation forces.
"I don't recall another time where special operation forces had to pose with their faces visible while serving in a war zone,” the Pentagon official said.