President Donald Trump said Sunday that leaks in Washington could have jeopardized the successful raid on the hideout of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the now-deceased leader of the so-called “Islamic State,” known as ISIS.
Trump confirmed in a press conference following his address to the nation that he had deliberately withheld information about the raid in advance from some congressional leaders. He did not mention House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), but other media reports indicated Schiff had not been briefed.
As Breitbart News reported:
President Donald Trump confirmed in remarks to the press Sunday after his address to the nation that he had deliberately kept some congressional leaders out of the loop, without naming Schiff directly.
“We notified some; others are being notified as I speak,” Trump said.
“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 is no country in the world that leaks like we do and Washington is a leaking machine.”
Trump said that U.S. forces would have been placed in greater danger due to leaks in Washington tipping off the terrorists.
“A leak could have caused the death of all of them,” Trump said.
Schiff is currently pursuing an “impeachment inquiry” against the president, using the secrecy that the House Intelligence Committee to shield witnesses from scrutiny, and to prevent Republicans from commenting on the testimony, even though none of the material being discussed is classified.
Trump emphasized that U.S. forces would have fought and won even if they had encountered stiffer resistance from the terrorists, but that leaks from Washington would have made their task much harder.
There were no U.S. personnel injured or killed; one K-9 dog was wounded in the raid.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.