Pelosi Takes Veiled Shot at President Trump After al-Baghdadi Raid

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol October 17, 2019 in Washington, DC. Pelosi spoke with admiration and respect about the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) who passed away earlier in the day. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took a veiled shot at President Trump on Sunday after he announced the death of ISIS founder and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, lamenting that the “Russians but not top Congressional Leadership were notified” in advance of the raid.

Trump announced on Sunday that ISIS leader al-Baghdadi 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 in an address on Sunday. “He was the founder and leader of ISIS, the most ruthless and violent terror organization anywhere in the world.”

According to the president, the terrorist leader detonated his suicide vest as U.S. forces cornered him.

“He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way,” Trump said.

According to reports, notable members of Congress – including House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) – were not briefed on the raid in advance due to the fear of leaks. The president confirmed that in his statement on Sunday.

“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,” he continued. “There is no country in the world that leaks like we do and Washington is a leaking machine.”

Pelosi, while congratulating the “dedication and skill of our military and our intelligence professionals,” took a veiled shot at Trump in her statement, lamenting that the “Russians but not top Congressional Leadership were notified” in advance.

Her full statement reads:

Americans salute the heroism,  and acknowledge the work of our partners in the region.  We are relieved that no U.S. personnel died in this daring raid.

The death of al-Baghdadi is significant, but the death of this ISIS leader does not mean the death of ISIS.  Scores of ISIS fighters remain under uncertain conditions in Syrian prisons, and countless others in the region and around the world remain intent on spreading their influence and committing acts of terror.

This month, the House passed a joint resolution on an overwhelmingly bipartisan 354-60 basis which rejects President Trump’s green-lighting of Turkish aggression into Syria against our Kurdish partners, and calls on him to present a clear strategy to defeat ISIS.  The House must be briefed on this raid, which the Russians but not top Congressional Leadership were notified of in advance, and on the Administration’s overall strategy in the region.  Our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from Washington.

Despite Pelosi’s veiled shot, Trump’s announcement earned the praise of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT)– a notorious critic of the Trump administration.

“Al Baghdadi spread ‘fire and brimstone’ on earth; now he feels it for himself in hell,” Romney wrote. “To all who arranged his change of venue—the intel officers, the President, the warriors—thank you”:

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