he liberal media were so enamored with President Obama when he gave the order that ultimately resulted in the death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden; to the point of almost treating it as though he was the one to pull the actual trigger. But with news breaking late Saturday night that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi met the same fate, the Sunday morning newscasts were awash with anti-Trump journalists whining about President Trump using it a victory for his Middle East policies.
During NBC’s Sunday Today, chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson noted that “Trump has repeatedly celebrated what he calls the defeat of ISIS,” but recalled, “He has not talked much personally about al-Baghdadi by name.” The tone and juxtaposition of those points were meant to suggest she was catching Trump in a contradiction.
“The President’s speech this morning will be a commander-in-chief moment for him, but consider the backdrop here, Willie. It comes at a time when critics have really raise questions about his policy in Syria,” she cautioned, to dump some cold water on the President.
Host Willie Geist then brought on couple leftist partisans in Obama-era CIA official Jeremy Bash and NBC political director Chuck Todd.
Bash recognized that al-Baghdadi was an important person to eliminate, but doubted if Trump’s decision would be of any military importance given his decision to leave Syria:
So, I think this is symbolically very important, whether it’s militarily important really depends, because last week or in the last two weeks, President Trump made a decision that really took the foot off the neck of ISIS by taking the ground forces that was containing them, the Kurds, and abandoning them.
Todd worried that the President would use this massive win as evidence to prove his instincts on pulling out of Syria, and America’s capabilities were accurate. He even claimed Trump’s address to the nation later that morning would be his “mission accomplished” moment.
CHUCK TODD: Well, I think it is going to be a battle of I told you so’s in some ways in, frankly, the President’s own circles. I think you are going to have some who have warned the President “be careful we should not pull back our presence,” are going to say, “see our presence there, our ability to work with the Kurds, get the intelligence, that’s how we got Baghdadi and we’re going to have to be there and stay there and remain there to make sure ISIS does not reform.” And I think President Trump is going to look at this and say, “see? I can shrink the footprint and do this.”
I’ll be curious to see his posture this morning. But it very much might have a “mission accomplished” feel to it on this. And I think rhetorically, the President is going to feel as if he has a chip to play here that is – in this basically he’s debating having with his own party, and in some cases, with his own national security team, to say, “Hey, I think I can win the political argument on this one. We got al Baghdadi.”
It is going to be likely that President Trump is going to take a victory lap and likely argue, ‘look, this is a sign that my Middle East foreign policy is working and, frankly, that my America’s first foreign policy is working to draw down troops from these foreign entanglements,’” warned White House correspondent Kristen Welker, admitting she was echoing Todd.
Meanwhile, over on ABC’s Good Morning America, co-Anchor Eva Pilgrim wasn’t sure if Al-Baghdadi’s elimination was actually a good thing for the President.