Former U.S. Ambassador Nancy Soderberg used her Monday MSNBC Live appearance to suggest that Donald Trump’s recent argument for keeping Middle Eastern oil in Syria and Iraq is feeding into the Islamic State narrative, Newsweek reports.
“The last thing we want to do is talk about taking oil from other nations. That’s the talking point of [Islamic State], that we’re there to take their natural resources,” she said.
Regardless, Soderberg claims she doesn’t believe that the United States would ultimately keep Syrian oil.
“We have taken it and secured it,” Trump said Sunday while announcing the successful special-ops operation that led to the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The president also told reporters he regrets that the U.S. didn’t take Iraq’s oil after the 2003 invasion of the western Asia country that led to the overthrowing of Saddam Hussein’s government.
According to former CIA official Bruce Riedel, Trump’s comments are linked to his 2016 campaign pledges, suggesting that he may be making such comments to highlight promises he plans to keep for the benefit of his re-election campaign.
“He has a short notebook of old pledges, and this was one of the most frequently repeated pledges during the campaign: that we were going to take the oil. And now he actually is in a position where he can quote, take some oil.”
It’s not the first time the Trump administration’s approach to oil has been controversial. The Pentagon recently revealed that U.S. troops and tanks would be sent to protect Syria’s eastern oil fields, which has led to accusations from Russia that the movement is part of a plan to protect U.S. oil smugglers that siphon oil via a U.S.-controlled company called Sadcub.
Multiple reports that US special forces have killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi in Syria. Huge news if confirmed (President Trump is making White House statement at 9am ET) – would be biggest terror scalp since Bin Laden. pic.twitter.com/Y7CYOzjpPP
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 27, 2019
As for Baghdadi’s death, Trump said Monday that he’s considering releasing video footage of the incident, as The Inquisitr reported. The Islamic State leader reportedly took his own life — along with the lives of three of his children — after being cornered in a tunnel and detonating a suicide vest.
According to Trump, the White House is “thinking about it” and may release certain parts of the footage, which he himself watched and likened the experience to “watching a movie.”
Trump reportedly kept House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff in the dark about the special-ops operation. Newsweek reports that Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace grilled Vice President Mike Pence about the controversial decision, suggesting that it implies that Pelosi can’t be trusted with sensitive information. Pence claimed that Trump’s goal was a successful mission and dodged addressing the decision directly.