In Announcing al-Baghdadi’s Death, Trump Appears To Want Credit For Purportedly Warning About bin Laden, Too

On Sunday morning, President Donald Trump delivered remarks about a U.S. military operation that resulted in the death of the highest-ranked individual within the group calling itself ISIS.

President Donald Trump stands at a podium with a portrait of George Washington and several flags behind him.
Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed within that operation over the weekend, which Trump gave the order to carry out on Thursday. Trump held no qualms on Sunday morning using insulting language to describe the final moments of the terrorist leader.

“The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, panic, and dread [was] terrified of the American Forces bearing down,” Trump said.

Trump also gave out a warning to others who threaten America. “Terrorists who oppress and murder innocent people should never sleep soundly, knowing that we will completely destroy them,” he said.

In other remarks to reporters, the president suggested that al-Baghdadi’s death was a bigger deal than even the operation to kill Osama bin Laden in 2011. The former head of Al Qaeda was one of the masterminds of the coordinated attacks of September 11, 2001, which killed nearly 3,000 American citizens on U.S. soil in Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and New York City.

Trump seemed to imply in his comments on Sunday morning that he also deserved recognition for warning about bin Laden before 9/11, which could portend he may seek credit for the al-Bagdhdadi raid in the future.

Trump lamented he didn’t “get any credit for” warning about bin Laden, the Washington Post reported. “But that’s okay. I never do. But here we are.”

Trump’s claims that he deserves credit for warning about bin Laden before the 9/11 attacks stand on flimsy evidence, based on a book he had published more than a year before the event happened. The book by Trump discussed an attack on a bin Laden compound under former President Bill Clinton, but made no mention of bin Laden as being a threat to take seriously, according to an Associated Press fact-check of Trump’s statements.

As news of Trump’s pending announcement about al-Baghdadi’s death came about on Saturday evening, many on social media shared a tweet he had made in 2012, criticizing others for giving credit to former President Barack Obama when he ordered the go-ahead for a raid that ultimately killed the leaderof Al Qaeda.

“Stop congratulating Obama for killing Bin Laden,” Trump wrote during the 2012 presidential debates. “The Navy Seals killed Bin Laden.”

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