Video footage and the written report of Trump's visit with service members in Iraq showed the President signing "Make America Great Again" hats and an embroidered patch that read "Trump 2020."
But troops' requests for the autographs could brush up against Department of Defense guidelines for political activities.
Retired Rear Adm. John Kirby, a former Obama administration spokesperson and a CNN analyst, said on CNN's "The Situation Room" on Wednesday that service members having Trump sign the items was inappropriate.
"It is in fact a campaign slogan, that is a campaign item, and it is completely inappropriate for the troops to do this," Kirby said.
Kirby assigned some blame to Trump himself for political activity around the military: "Every time he's around military audiences, he tends to politicize it, and he brings in complaints and grievances from outside the realm of military policy."
Every time any
The only difference with Trump is that he doesn't make any really visible effort to pretend it isn't.