Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Sunday acknowledged the “Kurds and other U.S. allies” following President Trump’s announcement of ISIS founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death, but did not mention President Trump’s role – or that of U.S. forces, specifically – in his initial remark.
Trump addressed the nation on Sunday and formally announced the death of al-Baghdadi, who died as a result of a raid conducted by U.S. special forces.
“Last night the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead,” Trump said. “He was the founder and leader of ISIS, the most ruthless and violent terror organization anywhere in the world.”
Sanders remarked on the massive development but failed to mention the president’s role – or that of U.S. forces, specifically – in his initial statement, acknowledging the “Kurds and other U.S. allies” instead.
“Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was a murderer and terrorist responsible for terrible suffering and death. The fight against ISIS would not be possible without the brave efforts of the Kurds and other U.S. allies,” Sanders tweeted:
Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was a murderer and terrorist responsible for terrible suffering and death. The fight against ISIS would not be possible without the brave efforts of the Kurds and other U.S. allies.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 27, 2019
Trump, in his statement on Sunday, detailed the raid led by U.S. Special Operations forces, who “accomplished their mission in grand style.”
“Capturing or killing Baghdadi has been the top national security priority of my administration. U.S. Special Operations forces executed a dangerous and daring nighttime raid in northwestern Syria and accomplished their mission in grand style,” Trump said.
According to Trump, the terrorist leader reportedly detonated his suicide vest after being cornered by U.S. forces.
The U.S. personnel were incredible. I got to watch much of it. No personnel were lost in the operation, while a large number of Baghdadi’s fighters and companions were killed with him. He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way. The compound had been cleared by this time, with people either surrendering or being shot and killed.
Eleven young children were moved out of the house uninjured. The only ones remaining were Baghdadi in the tunnel, and he had dragged three of his young children with him. They were led to certain death. He reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children. His body was mutilated by the blast, the tunnel had caved in on it in addition, but test results gave certain, immediate and totally positive identification it was him.
The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread — terrified of the American forces bearing down on him. We were in the compound for approximately two hours, and after the mission was accomplished, we took highly sensitive material and information from the raid, much having to do with ISIS, origins, future plans, things that we very much want.
Like Sanders, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro (D) did not mention Trump in his congratulatory statement on al-Baghdadi’s death. However, he acknowledged and praised the courage and dedication of “our military and intelligence community”:
A ruthless murderer has been brought to justice. I’m grateful to our military and intelligence community. Their courage and dedication inspire us all.
Abandoning our Syrian and Kurdish partners remains a disastrous decision that will make the fight against ISIS harder.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) October 27, 2019
Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) also congratulated U.S. special forces, the intelligence community, and “all our brave military professionals on delivering justice to the terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi” but also made no mention of Trump:
I congratulate our special forces, our intelligence community, and all our brave military professionals on delivering justice to the terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The world is better and safer without him in it. pic.twitter.com/miLSVWBT9l
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 27, 2019
As Breitbart News noted, Trump congratulated former President Barack Obama after he announced the raid that resulted in the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011:
I want to personally congratulate President Obama and the men women of the Armed Forces for a job very well (cont) http://tl.gd/a7dhom
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2011