Some details the president has revealed are inaccurate, others are classified. Officials say they worry what to put in briefings for a man with no filter.
IRBIL, Iraq (Agencies) —Donald Trump painted an intense depiction for the world of the deadly U.S. military raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a raid that only a small number of people witnessed in real time.
- A robot had been on standby to aid in the hunt for al-Baghdadi if needed.
- A “beautiful” and “talented” dog got injured.
- U.S. Special Operations Forces arrived in eight helicopters and were on the ground for about two hours.
- The US forces entered al-Baghdadi’s compound within seconds by blowing holes in the side of the wall.
- They chased al-Baghdadi into a web of underground tunnels — many of them dead ends — that they already knew existed.
- U.S. forces left in “very low and very, very fast” helicopters using the same route from which they arrived.
- US forces captured some of al-Baghdadi’s henchmen and seized “highly sensitive material and information” outlining the origin of ISIS and plans for future plots.
The only issue is that many of those colorful details were wrong. Others were highly classified or tactically sensitive, and their disclosure by Trump made intelligence and military officials cringe, according to current and former U.S. officials.
The al-Baghdadi raid is the most high-profile exhibit of a reality U.S. officials have had to contend with since Trump took office: a president related to show business who enjoys delivering gripping narrative that inspire movie scripts, instead of explaining facts that deal with life-and-death situations.
“We agonized over what we would put in his briefings,” one former senior White House official said “because who knows if and when he’s going to say something about it.” “He has no filter” the official added. “But also if he knows something, and he thinks it’s going to be good to say or make him appear smarter or stronger, he’ll just blurt it out.”
On Monday, Trump declassified a photo of the dog, revealing its breed, which was classified. But the dog’s name remains top secret. Inquiries about the dog flooded in after Trump disclosed that “the K-9 was hurt, went into the tunnel.”
We have declassified a picture of the wonderful dog (name not declassified) that did such a GREAT JOB in capturing and killing the Leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi! pic.twitter.com/PDMx9nZWvw
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2019
Trump provided the United States enemies with tactical details on how the military carries out a raid like the one on al-Baghdadi, officials said, including the robot, the helicopter flight patterns and how U.S. forces entered the compound.
Some of the information, is more than the military would like disclosed, officials said, such as that al-Baghdadi “had a lot of cash” and the president saying he was able to view the raid remotely “as though you were watching a movie.”
The arguments against disclosures are usually based on concerns about revealing sources and methods or the idea that the more the president releases publicly, the weaker his argument about exerting executive privilege becomes.
Trump has since pushed the boundaries on a myriad of topics, officials said, and they don’t expect that to be curtailed.
The killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi marked a significant win for the United States in the war against the terror group, however statements such as “the ISIS leader was whimpering” spoke on Sunday morning to certain media outlets denying the “whimpering, crying and screaming” detail. Officials recounted how after they heard that on Sunday, they immediately began messaging each other questions and comments like, “where is he getting that?”
On Monday, questions about where the president got his information continued to make its way to administration officials. At a press briefing Monday afternoon reporter peppered acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley with questions about Trump’s remarks about Baghdadi “whimpering” and “crying”. Esper said: “I don’t have those details.”
Trump has made similar overstatements before. Two people close to the president say how Trump privately, as well as publicly, enjoys insulting his enemies.
The Yucatan Times