Saturday’s raid that resulted in the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was widely reported to have taken place at 3:30 p.m. EDT. That timeline, if accurate, would place Donald Trump on the golf course at the time of the raid, a Newsweek report appears to indicate.
Pool reports on presidential daily activities say that Trump departed Trump National Golf Club in Potomac, Virginia, at 3:33 p.m., according to the Newsweek report. But whether the raid actually began at 3:30 p.m., which would have been 6:30 a.m. local time in Idlib Province, Syria, remains unclear.
New Yorker reporter Ben Taub disputed the 3:30 p.m. timeline in a post to his Twitter account. According to Taub, the first “on-the-ground posts about a helicopter raid in Idlib started surfacing shortly after 5PM EST.”
In a photo released by the White House, seen above on this page, Trump is seated at the head of a table in a room identified as the White House situation room. In the photo, Trump is flanked by top administration national security advisers, including Vice President Mike Pence directly to the left and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, on the right.
But the “situation room” picture was taken at 5:05 p.m., according to metadata on the photo as read by former White House photographer Pete Souza, who noted the possible discrepancy on his Twitter account. If reports that the raid commenced at 3:30 p.m. are correct, Trump and his advisers were still in the situation room watching the raid on a video monitor 95 minutes later, according to Souza.
Souza was the White House photographer who snapped the iconic situation room photo showing President Barack Obama — along with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other top officials — viewing the May 2, 2011, United States special operations raid that killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
“It’s entirely possible that the raid was still going on at 5:05 pm,” Souza wrote on Twitter. “Before drawing definite conclusions about the photo, reporters need to nail down the actual timeline of the raid.”
At about 9 a.m. on Sunday morning, Trump delivered a televised address in which he revealed that a U.S. special operations raid had resulted in the death of al-Baghdadi, as The Inquisitr reported. Trump, in the address, said that the Islamic State leader “died like a dog.”
Trump described al-Baghdadi “whimpering and crying and screaming,” and derided the Islamic State leader and his supporters in the terrorist group as “losers” in his Sunday address.