October 29, 2019
To whom does the U.S. president owe fealty—the U.S. Congress or the Russian Politburo? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) revealed on October 28 that President Donald Trump told Russian leaders before he informed senior members of Congress about the U.S. military raid that ended in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the commander of 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,” she said in a statement responding to the Saturday night operation. “Our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from
According to a report by the Huffington Post, on Sunday morning, Trump announced in a press conference that Baghdadi died in northern Syria after being chased into a dead-end tunnel with three of his children. The four were killed by a suicide vest he detonated.
But according to Representative Adam Schiff (D-California), Trump never gave him or other members of the “Gang of Eight”―a bipartisan group of lawmakers comprising the most senior members of Congress, including Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York)―a tip-off beforehand.
Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, is prosecuting the impeachment inquiry.
Although Schiff praised the accomplishment, according to the HuffPost, he noted that communicating such developments with lawmakers is key in the event that complications arise.
“Had this escalated, had something gone wrong, had we gotten into a firefight with the Russians, it’s to the administration’s advantage to be able to say ‘we informed Congress,’” he said.
Trump acknowledged to reporters that he notified only “some” congressional leaders because he “wanted to make sure [the raid was] kept secret” because “Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before.”
The president said he contacted Senators Richard Burr (R-North Carolina)—who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee—and his own chief apologist Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) before his announcement.
During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Vice President Mike Pence defended Trump’s handling of the matter, and avoided answering host Chris Wallace’s queries about why Pelosi was not given a heads-up, the Huffington Post said.
Presented with the question repeatedly, Pence refused to offer a direct response, focusing only on the military feat.
Research contact: @HuffPost