Via Daily Caller:

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met with troops at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in a surprise visit Thursday, one of several stops he will make on a holiday tour of military installations.

Mattis, who was accompanied by a single Associated Press reporter, went to Guantanamo only to visit troops there, not to inspect the facilities or discuss detention policy, Pentagon officials said. He is the first secretary of defense to visit the controversial base since Donald Rumsfeld in early 2002, reports the AP.

After his stop in Guantanamo, Mattis will travel to meet with soldiers, Marines and sailors at Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Ft. Bragg, N.C.; and the Mayport naval base in Jacksonville, Fla., according to defense officials.

Mattis’ visit to Guantanamo comes amid renewed interest in the future of the military prison. After a terrorist attack in New York in October, President Donald Trump suggested he would send the suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, to Guantanamo as an enemy combatant. Saipov remians in federal custody awaiting trial for murder and terrorism charges.

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