Trump feels it necessary to give a graphic play by play of Baghdadi’s death as if this elevates him. pic.twitter.com/OfEht113CF
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) October 27, 2019
But Trump did not leave it at that.
— The Hill (@thehill) October 27, 2019
Of course this being Trump I think most of us doubt the validity of any information he might chare about this raid.
Here is how WaPo reported it:
President Trump on Sunday announced that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the elusive Islamic State leader, died during an American military operation in Syria, a major breakthrough more than five years after the militant launched the group’s self-proclaimed caliphate.
“Last night the United States brought the world’s Number One terrorist leader to justice,” Trump said in a televised announcement form the White House. “He was a sick and depraved man, and now he’s gone.”
The president described what he called a “dangerous and daring” nighttime operation by U.S. Special Operations forces in northwest Syria, involving a series of firefights and culminating in what he said was a retreat by Baghdadi into a tunnel. There Baghdadi, who Trump said was “whimpering and crying and screaming,” detonated an explosive vest, killing himself and three young children he brought with him.
The high-risk operation brings a dramatic end to a years-long hunt for the man who spearheaded the Islamic State’s transformation from an underground insurgent band to a powerful quasi-state that straddled two countries and spawned copycat movements across continents.
Trump said Baghdadi, a former university professor who was once held in a U.S.-run prison in Iraq, had been tracked over the last two weeks to a compound in Syria’s Idlib province which was laid with tunnels. He said the operation involved eight helicopters. He said no U.S. personnel were killed in the operation but that militants were killed.
Now a cynic might suggest that this whole thing was to distract us from the fact that hundreds, if not thousands, of ISIS fighters had been released from prison after Trump pulled US troops out of Syria, but who would be that cynical?
(Me, I would.)
Trump’s entire Q&A with reporters was rife with exaggerations and braggadocio, but at least one lie proved too much to ignore.
Courtesy of Mother Jones:
In touting his own national security credentials, Trump pointed to a book he published in 2000 called The America We Deserve. He noted that in this work, he brilliantly foresaw the threat posed by Osama bin Laden:
“I said in that book that we better be careful with this guy named Osama bin Laden. I mean I really study this stuff. I really find it very interesting, even though I am a businessman…I said we better be careful with Osama bin Laden. There’s a guy named Osama bin Laden. Nobody really knew who he was. But he was nasty. He was saying really nasty things about our country and what he wants to do to it. And I wrote in the book [in] 2000—two [sic] years before the World Trade Center came down—I talked to you about Osama bin Laden, you better take him out. I said he’s going to crawl under a rock. You better take him out. And now people are seeing that, they’re saying, “You know, Trump predicted Osama bin Laden.” Which actually is true.”
Really? Trump, in a 2000 book, fingered bin Laden as a primary threat who had to be neutralized, and he did this before others saw the Al Qaeda leader as a danger?
Okay, by now you know where this is heading. In the Kindle version of this book, there is no index. But according to the search function, there is only one—yes, just one—brief reference to Osama bin Laden or Al Qaeda in the entire book. Here it is:
“Instead of one looming crisis hanging over us, we face a bewildering series of smaller crises, flash points, standoffs, and hot spots. We’re not playing the chess game to end all chess games anymore. We’re playing tournament chess—one master against many rivals. One day we’re all assured that Iraq is under control, the UN inspectors have done their work, everything’s fine, not to worry. The next day the bombing begins. One day we’re told that a shadowy figure with no fixed address named Osama bin-Laden is public enemy number one, and U.S. jetfighters lay waste to his camp in Afghanistan. He escapes back under some rock, and a few news cycles later it’s on to a new enemy and new crisis.”
That’s it. Nothing prescient. Nothing that was not known publicly at the time. Nothing about putting bin Laden on the top of the national security to-do list. In the book’s opening chapter, Trump did note, “I really am convinced we’re in danger of the sort of terrorist attacks that will make the  bombing of the Trade Center look like kids playing with firecrackers.” But he did not connect this to bin Laden. And in the book’s short chapter on terrorism, Trump had no mention of bin Laden or Al Qaeda.
Only Donald Trump would use the death of a terrorist leader to promote one of his books, and then also lie about what was written in that book.
Speaking of Bin Ladin Trump of course had to make this ISIS guy a bigger deal than the fellow who planned 9-11.
Trump pathetically still tries to measure up to Obama he claims the killing of Baghdadi is bigger than Bin Laden. pic.twitter.com/D5fV3CT8pj
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) October 27, 2019
Some things are so predictable.
It should also be pointed out that the first nation Trump thanked for helping with his operation was Russia, who he mentioned in glowing terms a number of times during the press briefing.
Make of that what you will.
Update: Trump just cannot stop trying to one up Obama.
One of these photos is staged. @PeteSouza’s photo was taken from the corner of the room since he was trying to stay out of the way.
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) October 27, 2019
And then failing to do so over, and over, and over again.