Monday, 28 October 2019

Trump kept mission to annihilate ISIS leader from Democrats because ‘I didn’t want people lost’

President Donald Trump said on Sunday, Oct. 26, at the White House that he did not inform certain congressional lawmakers about the U.S. military raid in which ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed, for fear of “leaks” that would jeopardize the safety of Americans involved in the operation.

Trump was firm on not disclosing details about the raid before the U.S. military was able to successfully complete the mission and return home safe.

“No, I didn’t,” Trump said when asked by reporters if he had informed Pelosi of the operation. “I wanted to make sure this kept secret, I didn’t want to have men lost, and women, I didn’t want people lost.”

The president confirmed that he had knowledge about plans for the top-secret mission for three days but kept it from key Congress members in fear of leaked information endangering the lives of American forces, according to USA Today.

“Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before,” Trump said to reporters at the White House on Sunday. “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,” the president added in a remark, because “a leak could have caused the death of all of them.”

Trump said that after the successful completion of the raid, there were no U.S. military casualties.

Trump named two Senate Republicans whom he had contacted before the raid ahead of his announcement, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who is chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Trump referred to Burr as “a great gentleman” and Graham “a very strong hawk” who agrees with what we’re doing now.

Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a top Democrat and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was not notified, and neither was Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), according to Schiff’s office.

Schiff commended the raid’s success but also complained about how he was left out of the loop when the raid occurred.

“It’s to the administration’s advantage to say, ‘We informed Congress we were going in, they were aware of the risks. We at least gave them the chance to provide feedback,’” Schiff said in protest on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “That wasn’t done here. I think that’s a mistake, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that it was a success and a ruthless killer has been taken off the battlefield.”

Graham also applauded Trump for leading the mission, pointing out that the president’s merits are something that should be acknowledged, even by his fiercest attackers.

“ISIS is a depraved organization,” Graham said. “They’re religious Nazis. It cannot be accommodated. It cannot be negotiated with. They have to be destroyed and marginalized.”

“This is a moment where President Trump’s worst critics should say, ‘Well done,’” Graham said.

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