Trump Says He May Release Video of Raid on al-Baghdadi’s Compound

October 28, 2019 Updated: October 28, 2019

President Donald Trump said that the United States might make public video footage of U.S. special forces raiding ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s compound.

“We’re thinking about it. We may,” Trump told reporters in Maryland on Oct. 28, responding to a question about whether he’d authorize the release. “We may take certain parts of it and release it, yes.”

Trump said it was a “great weekend for our country.”

“We captured a man that should’ve been caught a long time ago. Unfortunately, he wasn’t,” Trump added. “He’s done tremendous damage. But it was an amazing display of intelligence and military power and coordination, and getting along with people. Lots of great things happened. So that was a big, big day and a big weekend, and we’re very happy about it.”

Trump also explained why he didn’t inform congressional leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) prior to the raid.

“I think Adam Schiff is the biggest leaker in Washington,” Trump said. “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.” Schiff claimed for years that he had evidence that Trump colluded with Russia, but has not produced that evidence as of yet.

“We had a very good conversation with the Ukrainian President. The conversation was perfect. They don’t ever talk about the conversation,” Trump continued, referring to an anonymous claim that during the call Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son’s business activities in Ukraine. That claim sparked the impeachment inquiry against him headed by Schiff.

trump in situation room
In this image released by the White House, President Donald Trump is joined by Vice President Mike Pence, second from left, national security adviser Robert O’Brien, left; Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, second from right, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, right, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in the Situation Room of the White House monitoring developments in the U.S. Special Operations forces raid that took out Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.. (Shealah Craighead/White House via AP)
This file image made from video posted on a militant website April 29, 2019, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, being interviewed by his group’s Al-Furqan media outlet. (Al-Furqan media via AP, File)

“It started with the whistleblower, and now they don’t want the whistleblower. Then they had a second whistleblower; now they don’t want the second whistleblower. The reason is that when the whistleblower—when they saw what the whistleblower wrote, and then when I released the conversation, which bore no relationship to what the whistleblower saw, they said their case was out the window. And I think it’s a disgrace,” Trump said.

Trump was at Andrews Air Force Base, set to fly to Chicago to address the annual conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and attend fundraising events.

Schiff and Pelosi both complained over the weekend that Trump didn’t inform them of the raid.

Republicans leaders Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) also weren’t informed until after the raid, Trump said at a press conference on Sunday.

“We were going to notify them last night, but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before,” Trump said.

“There’s no country in the world that leaks like we do, and Washington is a leaking machine,” he remarked. “I told my people we will not notify them until our great people are out—not just in but out.”

“I don’t want to have men lost and women. I don’t want to have people lost,” he said, adding that a “leak could have caused the death of all of them.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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