President Trump says ISIS leader al-Baghdadi is dead after US military raid in Syria
•President Trump says ISIS leader al-Baghdadi is dead after US military raid in Syria originally appeared on abcnews.go.com President Donald Trump announced the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State.”A brutal killer, one who has caused so much hardship and death, has violently been eliminated,” Trump said in an address to the nation from the White House. „He will never again harm another innocent man, woman or child. He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place.”Trump said he was able to watch most of the operation in the White House Situation Room as it happened.(MORE: Defense secretary offers more details on military raid in Syria, al-Baghdadi’s death)PHOTO: President Donald Trump and government officials monitor developments as special operations forces close in on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s compound in Syria in the situation room at the White House, Oct. 26, 2019. (Shealah Craighead/The White House via Getty Images)”Al-Baghdadi was vicious and violent and he died in a vicious and violent way. As a coward running and crying,” Trump said. „This raid was impeccable and could only have taken place with the acknowledgment and help of certain other nations and people. I want to thank the nations of Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq and I also want to thank the Syrian Kurds for certain support they were able to give us.”ABC News@ABCBREAKING: Pres. Trump details death of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi: „The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread, terrified of the American forces bearing down on him.” https://abcn.ws/2PoXSTK Defense Secretary Mark Esper appeared on ABC’s „This Week” following the president’s remarks and described more details of the military operation, saying the stars aligned a few of weeks ago. He said troops rehearsed the mission and then on Thursday and Friday chose the option they would proceed with on Saturday.This Week@ThisWeekABCNEW: Defense Sec. Mark Esper says fewer than 100 forces were on the ground during raid, „but these are always much bigger operations, the tail of which stretches back pretty deep.” https://abcn.ws/2PoXSTK
WASHINGTON — President Trump announced the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State group, or ISIS, in a televised address on Sunday morning.
“Last night the United States brought the world’s No. 1 terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.”
According to Trump, al-Baghdadi and a “large number” of his fighters were killed on Saturday night in Idlib Province, Syria, after a raid by U.S. Special Operations forces. Trump offered a dramatic narration of the raid, which he said he was able to watch and took “approximately two hours.” He gave a graphic account of the terrorist being chased down a tunnel by American troops “whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.”
“He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down,” Trump said of Baghdadi. “He ignited the vest, killing himself and three of his children. “He died like a dog.”
Al-Baghdadi’s body was badly mutilated but was positively identified on the spot by a DNA match, Trump said. “We had his DNA.”
Trump said the U.S. had been pursuing al-Baghdadi for years and described “capturing or killing” the leader as “the top national security priority of my administration.” He said the intelligence that led to finding al-Baghdadi came together in recent months, and the operation had been planned for about two weeks.
The president mocked al-Baghdadi’s ISIS fighters as “losers” and said al-Baghdadi died in a state of “utter fear, total panic and dread.” He didn’t indicate how he knew what al-Baghdadi was thinking.
“He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place. God bless America,” Trump said.
Trump warned other terrorist leaders could face a similar fate but stressed the unique importance of killing al-Baghdadi.
“We’re after these leaders, and we have others in sight, very bad ones, but this was the big one. This was the biggest one perhaps that we’ve ever captured,” Trump said.
As he stressed the importance of taking down al-Baghdadi, Trump suggested the ISIS leader’s death was even more significant than the 2011 U.S. operation that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, who was the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
“This is the biggest there is. This is the worst ever. Osama bin Laden was very big, but Osama bin Laden became big with the World Trade Center,” Trump said. “This is a man who built a whole, as he would like to call it, a country … and was trying to do it again.”
Giuliani butt-dials reporter, says he needs “a few hundred thousand” By New York PostPublished: Oct 26, 2019 12:33 p.m. ETSerial butt dialer: Giuliani really needs to learn how to lock his phone properlyGetty President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has been caught on tape talking about an apparent business arrangement with a super-wealthy Persian Gulf nation when he accidentally dialed an NBC News reporter in the middle of the night.The former New York mayor at one point declared that “the problem is we need some money.” After nine seconds of silence, Giuliani specified: “We need a few hundred thousand.”
“Let’s get back to business,” Giuliani was recorded telling an unidentified third person in the voicemail message recorded at 11:07 p.m on Oct. 16. “I gotta get you to get on Bahrain.”
The reporter, NBC News’ Rich Schapiro, was asleep and discovered the message after the fact.
Giuliani runs a security consulting firm and has deep business ties to the Arab nation, and has even had a sit-down with Bahrain’s ruler, King Hamad Bin Isa al-Khalifa.
However, it’s unclear what business Giuliani was referring to or if he was discussing in the country in his capacity as a security consultant, Trump’s personal attorney or as Trump’s informal foreign policy adviser.
It was the second time in three weeks that the former New York City mayor butt dialed Schapiro.
The first call came Sept. 28 at 3:37 p.m. during the birthday party for Schapiro’s 3-year-old daughter in central New Jersey. Schapiro let it go to voicemail.
Giuliani did not respond to requests for comment from NBC on Thursday before the story was published.
Serial Butt Dialer
It wasn’t the first time it happened. In September, Giuliani left a voice message where he can be heard blasting former Vice President Joe Biden’s family. That message didn’t come late at night but rather “when the NBC News reporter was at a fifth-birthday party for an extended family member in Central Jersey.” The three-minute voice message is almost entirely of the lawyer “railing against the Bidens, recycling many of the unfounded allegations he has been making on cable news and in interviews with print reporters.”
Giuliani also said that “there’s plenty more to come out” about Biden’s business dealings, specifically mentioning China, Kazakhstan, and Russia. “It’s a sad situation,” he said. “You know how they get? Biden has been trading in on his public office since he was a senator.” The president’s lawyer also specifically railed against Hunter Biden. “When he became vice president, the kid decided to go around the world and say, ‘Hire me because I’m Joe Biden’s son.’ And most people wouldn’t hire him because he had a drug problem,” he said.
It seems Giuliani really needs to learn how to lock his phone properly. After Schapiro published his story, lots of reporters came out to tell their own Giuliani butt-dial tales, Slate reported. “Everyone has a good Rudy butt dial story,” the Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey tweeted. “I’ve heard him on what sounded like a plane, at the airport, at what sounded like a bar.” Jonathan Swan of Axios tweeted that Giuliani once “texted me a voice memo recording of himself talking to a guy.”
Giuliani appears to know this is a problem—at least sometimes. The Daily Mail’s David Martosko tweeted that he once overheard Giuliani telling a Fox News producer: “And I butt-dialed him! Can you believe it?”
And there are even hints this may be sort of a trend for lawyers in Trump’s orbit. In March, Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn wrote that “both Rudy and Lanny Davis, Trump’s former lawyer’s lawyer, butt dialed me.”
Impeachment Explained: How would a Senate trial play out if Trump is impeached?WASHINGTON — Public support for impeachment of President Trump is rising — and so is anxiety among Republicans who worry that the White House has not done enough to coordinate an aggressive response.That lack of uniform messaging has led to freelance efforts to help the president, as well as criticism from supporters of the president over what they deem an insufficient strategy to counter Democrats.On Thursday afternoon, Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a Senate resolution to condemn House Democrats for the way they have handled the impeachment inquiry into Trump’s attempts to have the Ukrainian government to investigate the family of his political rival, the former Vice President Joe Biden.A co-author of the resolution was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., famous for his ability to count votes and discern shifts in political moods. And yet McConnell was not standing alongside Graham as the South Carolina senator argued his case at a press conference. For that matter, neither were any of the more than 40 other Republicans who endorsed the measure, giving what should have been a show of force the feel of a one-man show.McConnell’s office would not say on record why he didn’t attend the resolution’s announcement. Later reports indicated that some Republicans were uneasy with Graham’s original pro-Trump language, which McConnell worked to soften.Impeachment proceedings against Trump are entering their most consequential stage yet, with a raft of witnesses slated in the coming days and a House vote on articles of impeachment perhaps only a month away. Even so, Republicans — many of whom face reelection in 2020 — are still struggling to figure out how to defend Trump. There is little consensus about whether to attack impeachment on substance or on process, which is being led by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the House Intelligence Committee chairman who is widely despised by the right.President Trump returning from South Carolina to Joint Base Andrews on Friday. (Photo: Leah Millis/Reuters)And while some legislators have been vociferous in standing up for Trump, others have laid low. One top Republican operative in Washington told Yahoo News that it was a mistake to not have a single official coordinating an impeachment response from inside the White House.
“The president needs to put one person in charge of the impeachment defense,” the operative said. He added that having White House counsel Pat Cipollone or acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney working on impeachment in addition to the respective responsibilities each already carries was poor management.
“They should not be running this,” he said of the two men, who are said to be vying for influence over how to handle impeachment.
The lack of a central Republican strategy much was in evidence Friday morning, when Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., appeared on “War Room: Impeachment,” the new impeachment-focused radio show hosted by Steve Bannon, the former White House chief political strategist. Bannon launched the show earlier this week out of frustration with what he saw as a disorganized, unfocused response to what he sees as a grave threat to Trump’s presidency.
“No more just taking punches,” Bannon said at the opening of Friday’s episode, in what could serve as the program’s theme.
Bannon showered praise on Gaetz, who earlier this week led a Republican storming of the secure basement room in the U.S. Capitol, where witnesses were testifying in front of the impeachment panel. While the president’s critics saw the move as little more than a disruptive stunt, loyalists like Bannon were thrilled to watch members of Congress come so forcefully to Trump’s defense.
Two days later, Gaetz said he had no regrets. “I thought we worked ’em pretty silly,” he said, describing how surprised Democrats were to see a gang of Republicans making its way through the door of a secure facility where intelligence matters are often discussed well out of public view. “It was almost like watching cockroaches scatter when you turn the lights on,” Gaetz said of his Democratic foes.
Notably absent from the show of force was House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the chamber’s leading Republican — a fact that was not lost on Bannon. After the Gaetz action was concluded, Bannon criticized McCarthy for a “60 Minutes” interview in which, according to Bannon, McCarthy came off as a “complete and total buffoon” who was unprepared to discuss the details of the impeachment inquiry.
McCarthy, Bannon added, needed to “jump in here and get engaged.”
One Republican staffer on Capitol Hill cautioned against drawing conclusions about fractures in the Republican conference.“I’ve rarely seen our caucus this riled up. We’re totally united in fighting Schiff’s secret impeachment,” the staffer added. “Across the board, members think this whole thing is a farce, and you’ll see little dissent from that view.”
The staffer acknowledged that “Senate Republicans are quieter,” but so were, in his estimation, Democrats in the upper chamber, with both parties “keeping their powder dry over there.”
As for McCarthy, a spokesman said that he supported Gaetz’s effort, even if he wasn’t present for it. “House Republicans are speaking with one voice against the undemocratic impeachment process,” the spokesman said, pointing to efforts like a resolution to censure Schiff that was introduced by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., and roundly supported by this Republican colleagues.
GOP fractures, however, extend beyond the House. After all, that chamber is controlled by Democrats. The Senate and White House, meanwhile, are in Republican control, making them natural epicenters of pro-Trump impeachment initiatives. But so far, such initiatives have been limited.
Graham acknowledged as much during Thursday’s press conference. “What’s missing here, I think, is that coordinated effort to put somebody in charge of developing a message and delivering it,” Graham said. “I believe that’s about to be corrected, I hope.”
Democratic Rep. Katie Hill resigns amid ethics probe