US president Donald Trump has revealed he didn’t inform House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or chairman of House intelligence committee, Adam Schiff, of his plans to attack ISIS leader Al Baghdadi in his Syria home.
On Sunday, Pelosi, who last month launched an impeachment inquiry on the US president, claimed Trump told the Russian government of plans to kill Baghdadi buy didn’t inform her or her colleagues while Adam Schiff appeared on ABC network to reveal he wasn’t told of plans to risk US military lives on foreign soil but he acknowledged Baghdadi’s death is a win for America and the world.
It is customary for US presidents to inform congressional leaders before using US military power on foreign soil, but Trump has revealed he didn’t inform them because he didn’t want to harm US soldiers if the operation is leaked out to the media.
According to Trump, Washington is now the home of media leaks, and he wanted to be sure that US military had left the ground after killing Baghdadi before informing congressional leaders.
“No, I didn’t do that,’ Trump said when a reporter Monday queried if he had shared plans of the raid with the House Speaker before it was carried out.
‘I wanted to make sure this was kept secret. I didn’t want to have men lost, and women. I don’t want to have people lost,’ the president added, claiming he told no one outside the circle of those involved in approving and organizing the operation.
In the early hours of Sunday morning –– U.S. Special Operations carried out a mission in Syria that resulted in the death of al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. Al-Baghdadi while being pursued by military dogs, detonated his suicide vest, killing himself and three of his children, when he was cornered by U.S. forces at his village.
Trump in a photo of the situation room posted online was flanked by National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Vice President Mike Pence, Trump, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army General Mark Milley and Brig. General Marcus Evans while the Baghdadi operation occured.
“We have notified some, others are being notified now as I speak,’ Trump told the room of reporters. ‘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 is no country in the world that leaks like we do. And Washington is a leaking machine and I told my people, we will not notify them until the – our great people are out. Not just in, but out,’ Trump asserted. ‘I don’t want to have them greeted with fire power like you wouldn’t believe. So we were able to get in and it was top secret. It was kept, there were no leaks or no nothing. The only people that knew were the few people I dealt with.’
Trump also admitted he took permission from Russia to use their airspace but he never let them know the specifics but Adam Schiff said that letting Democrats and Republicans in congress aware of such an attack is necessary incase something goes wrong or the Russians double-cross the US.
Russia treated us great, they opened up. We had to fly over certain Russia areas – Russia-held areas. Russia was great. Iraq was excellent. We really had great cooperation, and you have to understand, they didn’t know what we were doing and where we were going exactly,’ Trump said. ‘But the ISIS fighters are hated as much by Russia and some of these other countries as they are by us.’
‘We spoke to the Russian, we told them, ‘We’re coming in.’ And they said, ‘Thank you for telling us.’ They were very good,’ Trump said
“Had this escalated, had something gone wrong, had we gotten into a fire fight with the Russians, it’s to the administration’s advantage to be able 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. That wasn’t done here. I think that’s a mistake,’ Schiff said to ABC news.