The assassination of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi marks a major victory for the United States in the war against the terrorist group and a major achievement for Donald Trump's national security policy. But within 24 hours of the announcement of the attack, the president's penchant for embellishment complicated the victory lap he hoped to take.
In announcing the death of Baghdadi, Trump claims that the ISIS leader is a "whim" and likens him to a "dog" in his attempt to escape from US forces. Five top Trump administration officials watching in real time as the president speaks Sunday morning each tell The Daily Beast that they have no idea where the president got the "whining and crying and screaming" detail. Two employees told how, after hearing that on Sunday, they immediately started communicating questions and comments like "uh, where does he get this?"
The comments also confused Pentagon staff, some of whom told The Daily Believe that there is no way Trump could hear Baghdadi's voice on Saturday's live broadcast because there is no sound. Two senior officials said President Trump could speak with commandos on the spot who carried out the attack, but said that was not often the case in past operations.
And on Monday, questions about where the president received his information continue to make its way to administration officials. At a press conference on Monday afternoon, reporter pointed out Acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Millie with questions about Trump's remarks about "whining" and "crying" at Baghdad. Asked if he had also heard the whining and crying from Baghdadi, Esper replied, "I do not have these details." Millie said the president had planned to speak to members of the assault team but did not know the source of Baghdad's description. which Trump used.
Baghdadi has commanded forces from hiding places in Syria and Iraq and is responsible for the killings of thousands in both countries. He also inspired the abduction and killings of US officials and journalists, as well as spectacular attacks abroad. His death was noted as a major breakthrough in years of efforts to limit the reach and operational capacity of ISIS; and, as such, questions about the validity of Trump's raid account were dismissed by his supporters and Republican operatives, such as the press corps, determined to find superficial ways to fire him.
But if history is any guide, these questions could create real headaches in the coming weeks and months. In 201
Trump has made similar markups before. Two people close to the president share that when they heard about his comments about the "crying" late ISIS leader, it reminded them that Trump is alone, and publicly enjoys reflexively insulting his enemies in situations far worse than anti – Islamic State Reid "Whether or not they actually cry, [Trump] very often will blame someone they fight, like a celebrity or politician, for being weak and just crying everywhere," says one source. "This is his favorite insult."
When it came to Baghdadi's death, the president was not the only one who seemed to go overboard. On Sunday, President Barack Obama White House photographer Pete Sousa suggested that a photo of the situation room featuring Trump was taken after the attack ended on the basis of a mistaken belief when the raid took place. Susa wasn't alone either. Reporter Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) retweeted a tweet saying the photo was taken 95 minutes after the attack.
But Trump was not hampered Monday by adherence to hyperbole alone. He also seemed incapable of stopping himself from moving quickly into familiar territories of personal and cultural insult. On his first visit to Chicago since he was sworn in as president, Trump gave a speech Monday exploding the city as a national disturbance over gang violence, crime statistics and immigration policy.
"It bothers us as a nation. "Trump said at a convention for police chiefs." They talk about Chicago all over the world. Afghanistan is a safe place to compare. "
During the speech, the president shot at Jussi Smolet, actor of Empire for which Chicago police said falsified hate crime on itself and then tried to pin it
Eddie Johnson, police superintendent of the city, made a point of boycotting Trump's speech, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot posted on Twitter on Monday: "Instead of downplaying the common Chicago's hateful and disrespectful rhetoric, he must return to DC and face his fate "during the ongoing impeachment investigation.
As soon as he sweeps Chicago into his city limits, President Trump heads back to DC to attend a Halloween fraud or healer event at the White House. He also resumed his favorite pastime: posting hate on Twitter.
"Can you believe that Shifti Adam Schiff, DC's biggest Labor and corrupt politician, is upset that we didn't inform him before we attacked and killed terrorist # 1 in the WORLD !? You will not be surprised if the Democrats do nothing about it! DRIVE THE HOSPITAL !! "He tweeted on Monday night.
This was sent minutes after retweeting a December 2015 publication by " Steph ", stating why she called herself a devoted Trump follower: "I" is an American citizen sick of robbery and threatening my government for any faction, race, religion, and other causes other than my own. “
– With additional reporting by Sam Stein