Susan Rice says Obama should’ve been alerted ahead of Baghdadi mission

While Democrats slammed President Trump for not informing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about the U.S. military raid on the former head of ISIS, Susan Rice seemed to think even former President Obama should have gotten a heads up.

The former national security adviser believes the White House “didn’t do the normal protocol” and inform Obama about the raid that lead to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

(Video: CBS News)


“Do you know, was President Obama informed of the death of al-Baghdadi by the administration? Did you know?” Margaret Brennan, host of CBS’s “Face The Nation” asked Rice on Sunday following Trump’s announcement of Baghdadi’s death.

“There’s no reason why I should know. There is a tradition of common courtesy of presidents informing their predecessors of things of significance like this,” Rice replied.

“Since the White House seemingly didn’t feel it necessary to inform the leadership of the intelligence committees on a bipartisan basis, I’m quite confident that they didn’t do the normal protocol with respect to predecessors either,” she said.

Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., were not informed about the mission before it happened.

“No, I didn’t do that. I wanted to make sure this was kept secret,” the president said when asked about informing Democratic leadership ahead of the raid. “I didn’t want to have men lost. And women. I don’t want to have people lost.”

“We notified some, others are being notified now as I speak,” Trump said. “We were going to notify them last night but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like nothing I’ve ever seen before. There [is] no country in the world that leaks like we do. Washington is a leaking machine.”

Rice was asked if the Obama administration had informed former President George W. Bush about the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in 2011 but her response was not definitive, saying they “tried to do that as a matter of courtesy.”

The former national security adviser did have positive feedback on the Baghdadi raid, however.

“Well, obviously it’s a major milestone, and it’s one that we all should be welcoming, quite plainly, ” she said of the military action that resulted in the death of the ISIS leader who was killed after being trapped in a tunnel where he attempted to escape before detonating a suicide vest. He and his three children died in the blast.

“He died like a dog. He died like a coward,” President Trump said on Sunday about the death of the head of ISIS.

“It doesn’t mean that the fight against ISIS is over,” Rice cautioned during her CBS News appearance. “And it doesn’t mean we can declare mission accomplished and just walk away.”

She warned that, as has been seen before, terrorist organizations in this part of the world can “reconstitute” when the pressure is relieved somewhat.

“So we need to be vigilant,” she told Brennan. “We need to maintain a minimal presence in order to ensure that the pressure stays on ISIS and they don’t come back roaring.”


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