Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace is at it again making it difficult to discern exactly whose side he’s on… it doesn’t appear to be Trump’s as usual. On “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace quizzed Vice President Mike Pence on why President Trump did not notify House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in advance about the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. It’s simple… Pelosi can’t keep her trap shut and to tell her would lead to leaks that would have gotten our warriors killed or injured.
Wallace stated, “The president was asked specifically whether he had informed the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi about this raid last night, and he said no and then he added I wanted to make sure that no American forces were lost. The implication seeming to be that he was worried that Pelosi or members of Congress would leak this. Does the president not trust the Speaker of the House with sensitive national security information?” That’s a no-brainer — no, he doesn’t.
“Pence said, “I don’t think that was the implication at all. I think from the time that we got actionable intelligence, the president’s total focus here was on a successful mission and the safety of American troops.”
“Wallace pressed, “Why didn’t he tell Nancy Pelosi?”
“Pence said, “We maintain the tightest possible security here and when we got the confirmation on Saturday that al-Baghdadi was on site and our troops began to move into the region has the president said, our aircraft were moving over some very potentially hostile areas. We wanted them to be able to get in and get out, it’s a dangerous mission on the ground. They went with the resolve in the determination as president to bring al-Baghdadi to justice but they also went with our prayers and I just couldn’t be more proud. When they were wheels up out of country, no American casualties and al-Baghdadi is dead.”
“Wallace pressed, “We all applaud that. I do want to ask you, it is my job as a newsman, respectfully, why didn’t the president notify speaker of the House?”
“Pence said, “I just want to emphasize the president’s focus here throughout particularly the last several days was on the mission to bring a man who was the most wanted man in the world, a man who had brought unspeakable violence through the isis caliphate, who was exporting violence throughout the world to justice and that combined with ensuring the safety of our forces coming in from executing the mission and moving out was the president’s directive throughout this effort and I know it animated every decision that he made along the way.”’
Sigh… Wallace is being dense here. Pence is a diplomat first and foremost. He can’t come out and just say why Trump didn’t tell Pelosi the news. But Trump came out and said it. It’s because of the unprecedented leaks from this Congress. Stop playing gotcha games and report the news for a change.
“We notified some [and] others are being notified now as I speak,” Trump said in a speech 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.”
“Washington is a leaking machine,” Trump said. “The only people that knew were the few people that I dealt with… A leak could have caused the death of all of them.”
“I told my people we will not notify them until our great people are out — not just in but out,” Trump added.
Of course Vice President Mike Pence defended President Trump’s decision to withhold details from Congress about the raid to kill ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Actually, Trump needs no defending here but the media is going to pick at any little thing they consider out of order to make him look bad.
To protect our troops, Trump didn’t speak with anyone on this until after our guys were out of there. Then he spoke to his most loyal lieutenants. Why would the left expect anything different here?
The president said he did speak with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Burr (R-NC) about the operation, but only after it had concluded. “I wanted to make sure this was kept secret. I don’t want to have men lost and women. I don’t want to have people lost,” he said.
Pelosi and Schiff are furious the Gang of Eight weren’t notified. Good.
Pelosi accused the president of keeping U.S. officials and lawmakers in the dark, but sharing plans with Russia, which Trump claims he did not do. “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,” Pelosi said in a statement shared by CNN.
Trump confirmed that Russia was helpful in assisting with the raid – clearing up air space in Russian-controlled areas so the U.S. could carry out its mission. But he insisted that Russia, and other countries that cooperated with the U.S., was not aware of the specifics of the operation. That’s a very relevant point in all this.
“Russia treated us great, they opened up. We had to fly over certain Russia areas – Russia-held areas. Russia was great. Iraq was excellent. We really had great cooperation, and you have to understand, they didn’t know what we were doing and where we were going exactly,” he said. “But the ISIS fighters are hated as much by Russia and some of these other countries as they are by us.”
“We spoke to the Russian, we told them, “We’re coming in.” And they said, ‘Thank you for telling us.” They were very good,” Trump said, reiterating that the Kremlin was not aware of the plans to capture or kill al-Baghdadi.
“We did tell them, “We think you’re going to be very happy,” because, you know, again, they hate ISIS as much as we do. You know what ISIS has done to Russia. So, no, we did not tell – they did not know the mission but they knew they were going over the area that they had a lot of fire power.”
I will make one more point here… exactly what does it say about Pelosi, Schiff, and the Gang of Eight when the President of the United States can trust the Russians more than them? That’s a question someone like Chris Wallace will never ask. What it says is that Trump fears the enemy within more than the enemy without.