Trump Officials Had No Clue Where He Got ‘Whimpering’ Detail in His Baghdadi Raid Account

The killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi marked a significant win for the United States in the war against the terror group and a major achievement for Donald Trump’s national security policy. But within 24 hours of the raid being announced, the president’s penchant for embellishment had complicated the victory lap he was hoping to take. Announcing Baghdadi’s death, Trump claimed that the ISIS leader was “whimpering” and likened him to a “dog” in his attempt to escape U.S. forces. Five senior Trump administration officials who watched in real time as the president spoke on Sunday morning each told The Daily Beast that they had no idea where the president got the “whimpering and crying and screaming” detail. Two officials recounted how after they heard that on Sunday, they immediately began messaging each other questions and comments like, “uh where is he getting that?”The comments confused officials in the Pentagon as well, some of who told The Daily Beast that there was no way Trump could have heard Baghdadi’s voice on the Situation Room live stream Saturday night because it did not have audio. Two senior officials said while President Trump could have spoken to commandos on the ground who carried out the raid but said that has not often been the case in past operations.And 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”. Asked whether he too had heard the whimpering and crying from Bagdadi, Esper said: “I don’t have those details.” Milley said the president had planned to talk to unit members involved in the raid but that he didn’t know the source of the Baghdadi description Trump used.Baghdadi had commanded forces from hideouts in both Syria and Iraq and was responsible for the killing of thousands of individuals in both those countries. He also inspired the kidnapping and killing of American aid workers and journalists as well as spectacular attacks overseas. His death was celebrated as a major breakthrough in a years-long effort to limit ISIS’ reach and operational capacity; and, as such, questions over the validity of Trump’s account of the
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