President Donald Trump announced to the nation Sunday morning that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who founded the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was killed during a “daring and dangerous” raid by U.S. troops.
In announcing the secret raid, Trump was clear that there’s little trust in the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and some leaders in Congress.
When asked specifically if he informed Pelosi ahead of the raid, the president said he did not.
“No, I didn’t do that. I wanted to make sure this was kept secret,” Trump answered. “I didn’t want to have men lost. And women. I don’t want to have people lost.”
After explaining that the operation began “about two weeks ago,” and that Russia was made aware that the U.S. was sending troops into the area, a reporter asked if Pelosi or other congressional leaders were made aware of the raid.
“We’ve notified some, others are being notified now as I speak,” Trump replied. “We were going to notify them last night but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before. There’s no country in the world that leaks like we do and Washington is a leaking machine.”
“I told my people we will not notify them until our great people are out — not just in, but out, I didn’t want them greeted with firepower like you wouldn’t believe,” he said, stressing that it was a “top secret” mission.
“This was a very small group that knew about this. We had very, very few people,” he said. “A leak could have cost the deaths of all of them.”
Trump said that he watched much of the raid from the White House Situation Room, explaining that U.S. forces engaged in a firefight as al-Baghdadi fled to a tunnel with three of his children. Once inside, the president said al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and the children.
“Baghdadi and the losers who worked for him, and losers they are, they had no idea what they were getting into,” Trump said. “In some cases, they were very frightened puppies. He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place. God bless America.”
The raid took place in northwestern Syria, and the reason Russia was notified was because they had “great firepower” in the area, according to the president.
Vice President Mike Pence was grilled by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace on whether Trump trusted Pelosi.
“The implication seeming to be that he was worried that Pelosi or members of Congress would leak this,” Wallace said. “Does the president not trust the Speaker of the House with sensitive national security information?”
“Why didn’t he tell Nancy Pelosi?” Wallace pressed.
“We wanted them to be able to get in and get out, it’s a dangerous mission on the ground,” Pence said. “They went with the resolve in the determination as president to bring al-Baghdadi to justice but they also went with our prayers and I just couldn’t be more proud.”
The emphasis on surprise and safety being clear.
Social media users certainly understood Pelosi being kept out of the loop… here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:
Dear @tedlieu – you said I could call you an idiot, I will (again), you are an idiot. Because you & the @TheDemocrats have become so dangerous to the interests & national security of the American people you & @SpeakerPelosi could not be told in advance of the Al Bagdadi raid https://t.co/45lAjxDXKM
— Tony Shaffer (@T_S_P_O_O_K_Y) October 27, 2019
All The #Leaker‘s over on the Hill would be My guess!!!!
— Dave Johnson (@papadoc5656) October 27, 2019
She would have leaked with the “noble” intent of hurting the President, but it would have resulted in dead Americans. A price YOU and Chris Wallace might be willing to pay, but the President is not.
— Steph (@steph93065) October 27, 2019
She can’t be trusted
— JM Conservative (@JMuser16) October 27, 2019
Of course they didn’t tell her, it would have been leaked to the world then. #LiberalismIsAMentalDisorder
— LMShed (@TraveLynn) October 27, 2019
So…. Washington leaks like a sieve. Good decision to keep it all quiet.
— Nancy Scroggins (@NancyScroggins) October 27, 2019
It’s a mystery. pic.twitter.com/J7NfkDN57Q
— 100 Proof (@ChampionCapua) October 27, 2019
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