A reporter from Al Jazeera noted the way in which President Donald Trump described the killing of ISIS leader Abuk Bakr al-Baghdadi, and immediately became concerned that the commander-in-chief’s rhetoric could cause more harm than good in the long-run.
Journalist Patty Culhane warned against the way Trump spoke about the matter over the weekend. “The president did something that we don’t see U.S. presidents do. He used language that is going to really incite Baghdadi’s followers if they hear it,” she explained, per reporting from Newsweek.
Trump, in announcing al-Baghdadi’s death, following a successful U.S. raid of the compound he had been inside, described the head of ISIS as “whimpering and crying” when he died, likening his behavior to that “like a dog.”
The president also called him “sick and depraved,” describing how he used his own children as human shield during the event. Trump added that al-Baghdadi was “screaming all the way” throughout the attack, per a copy of his remarks to the American people from the White House.
Trump used “very crass language” in describing the event, Culhane said. According to her, the way the president spoke about it was not helpful for the nation’s interests in the future, especially in the fight against ISIS.
“There’s some concern by Washington that this is not the kind of language that you want to use unless the goal is to really incite the people who followed him,” Culhane explained.
Trump seemed more interested in celebrating a ‘win’ for his administration than any long-term good that the death of al-Baghdadi would bring, she added.
“The president’s clearly relishing in what he sees as a good moment in his presidency,” Culhane pointed out.