Robert J. O’Neill shared his thoughts on Twitter Oct. 27, shortly after President Trump announced that the ISIS leader had killed himself during a raid by U.S. Special Operations forces on his hideout in northwest Syria.
“Hey scumbag, tell bin Laden I said what’s up,” he wrote.
O’Neill, 43, also congratulated the members of the U.S. Special Forces team who were involved in the operation.
He wrote: “We’ve once again proven that it doesn’t matter where you hide… we will find you. Great job guys.”
O’Neill is also known as an outspoken personality on social media. Just days earlier, he had taken aim at the leader of the effort to impeach Trump, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
Trump had revealed he did not disclose plans of the Oct. 26 al-Baghdadi operation to Schiff because he was concerned the information would be leaked.
Speaking to reporters on Oct. 28, the president said: “Well, I guess the only thing is they were talking about why didn’t I give the information to Adam Schiff and his committee. And the answer is: because I think Adam Schiff is the biggest leaker in Washington.
“You know that, I know that, we all know that. I’ve watched Adam Schiff leak. He’s a corrupt politician. He’s a leaker like nobody has ever seen before.”
The president has repeatedly accused Schiff of leaking information to the press.
O’Neill appeared to agree with Trump’s decision not to inform Schiff ahead of Saturday night’s successful raid.
“If you’re the House Intel Chairman and are not told about the raid to kill the world’s number one terrorist… you might be a leaker,” O’Neill wrote, tagging Adam Schiff in the post.
Despite not being made aware of the raid ahead of time, Schiff said the death of al-Baghdadi was “great news.”
He wrote on Twitter: “A bloodthirsty killer has been brought to justice. Our profound thanks to the brave service members and intel officers involved. This is not the end of ISIS and the struggle will go on. But with one less murderous thug.”
He later added: “Mr. President, I’m grateful to our armed forces and intelligence professionals who did such a brilliant job of eliminating this brutal terrorist from the battlefield, and focused on the continuing fight against ISIS. I would encourage you to do the same.”
Schiff also spoke to ABC this week, where he said the raid was an “operational success” and a “symbolic victory,” but noted that it was important to notify the Gang of Eight incase things had gone wrong.
He said: “In terms of notifying the Gang of Eight, that wasn’t done. It’s frankly more important if things go wrong. The president said it was dangerous flying in, the Russian could have shot down American planes.
“Had this escalated, had something gown wrong, had we got into a fire fight with the Russians, it’s to the administration’s advantage to be able to say ‘we informed congress that we were going in, they were aware of the risks, we at least gave them the chance to provide feedback.’ That wasn’t done here, I think that’s a mistake.”
Trump had said during a press conference on Oct. 17, “I told my people we will not notify them [congressional leaders] until our great people are out. Not just in, but out.
“I don’t want to have them greeted with firepower like you wouldn’t believe,” Trump said. “It was top secret.”
He added that leaks would have possibly cost American lives.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he also wasn’t informed of the operation before the raid.
“I was in the similar position when President Obama ordered the attack on Osama bin Laden. I was not called in advance then, nor do I expect to be called in advance now,” he told reporters, according to The Hill.
McConnell said the White House attempted to inform him of the operation before the news went public on Sunday.