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Daniel L. Gardner

President Donald Trump held a brief press conference Sunday morning announcing a covert nighttime raid by U.S. special forces in Syria that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Broadcast and cable networks aired the president’s remarks … mostly. The national press sort of headlined the breaking news. And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave a statement in a way.

Awaiting those other reports

Trump is not like other presidents. Over his lifetime, he has been a registered Democrat as well as a registered Republican, and very popular among the political class who frequently asked him for money. He has said publicly many times that he doesn’t care about politics. That should not be news to anyone who has heard or read his tweets. Only the clueless believe Trump has political strategies and makes political moves.

Trump was carried into the White House on a populous wave of anti-Washington establishment sentiments after another eight years of politics-as-usual led by President Barack Obama and the usual suspects on both sides of the political aisle. After more than two years of endless political campaigning, 2016 voters were more than fed up with the political establishment and its supporting cast in the press and academia.

Surviving Washington maelstrom

Sunday, Trump began his statement, “Last night, the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead. He was the founder and leader of ISIS, the most ruthless and violent terror organization in the World.” He noted, “No U.S. personnel were lost in the operation, while a large number of Baghdadi’s fighters and companions were killed with him.” And, in typical Trump manner, added, “He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming.”

After his brief statement, Trump took questions. One reporter asked whether the president planned to invite the Special Forces to the White House. Then, CNN’s Jake Tapper pulled out of the press conference saying, “All right, as the press conference and announcement turns into lesser matters about who will be invited to the White House to thank them….” Yeah, Jake! Who wants to hear anything about “them?”

Gracious! Here we go again

Not to be outdone by the likes of CNN’s anchors, The Washington Post changed its headline about the death of al-Baghdadi from “Islamic State’s terrorist-in-Chief” to “Austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State dies at 48.”

Oh, but nobody can beat the Queen when it comes redirecting the news from victory over terrorism to a personal attack. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement that ended with this barb: “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.”

Our military and allies deserve to be protected from the Washington establishment filled with pompous self-righteous leaders who will leak anything for their own political benefit. See closed impeachment hearings for highly selected details.

Maybe we should pause from politics for a moment and offer heartfelt thanks from a grateful nation to “great intelligence professionals,” “the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines,” and “our professionals who work in other agencies of the United States government” for carrying out this mission against Islamic terrorism. That’s simply whom President Trump thanked.

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Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, Miss. You may contact him at PJandMe2@gmail.com.


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