CNN Complains Trump Shared Too Much, Didn’t Thank the CIA (He Did)

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Mere moments after President Trump got done announcing that the United States had eliminated ISIS founder and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, CNN was off to the races criticizing much of what the President said. CNN host Jake Tapper was leading a largely anti-Trump, Obama-era panel of former intelligence community officials during a special two-hour edition of his Sunday show, State of the Union.

After giving a rundown of what the President said in his speech and the following press conference, Tapper looked at his panel and wondered: “Were you concerned at all, listening to that, whether he was giving too much information? I mean, I'm a journalist, I want it all, but I saw some grimaces around this table.

First to speak was Obama’s former Homeland Security adviser, Lisa Monaco who took issue with how many details of the raid Trump was sharing with the American people:

LISA MONACO (Obama Homeland Security adviser): Yeah, I was struck. I was struck by the details about having known ahead of time. I believe that's what the president said, that they knew ahead of time that there were tunnels, they knew ahead of time that there were booby traps. That says to me that there was some rather unique and probably exquisite intelligence that had been gathered, most likely from somebody on the ground. So, that's potentially concerning, and I wonder how intelligence professionals who have labored long and hard on this operation felt hearing that.

Tapper was concerned with who President Trump thanked during his address. “He started with Russia and then talked about Syria, Turkey, Iraq. He then said that there was some support from the Kurds. He did ultimately thank, obviously, the special operators and the intelligence community,” he said.

Remember that last point, because a few minutes later Tapper would go on to decry how Trump supposedly didn’t thank the CIA and Director Gina Haspel.

 

 

Tapper was speaking serial liar and former DNI James Clapper when he whined about Trump touting the raid as the proper work of the intelligence community. “Clearly, a reference to the investigation into whether-- how the Russians were reaching out to his campaign, and combined with the fact that he did not thank his CIA director, Gina Haspel and did not thank his director of national intelligence, Joe Maguire,” Tapper claimed.

But let’s take a look at who the President thanked and how he thanked them (click "expand"):

PRESIDENT TRUMP: This raid was impeccable and could only have taken place with the acknowledgment and help of certain other nations and people. I want to thank the nations of Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq and I also want to thank the Syrian Kurds for certain support they were able to give us.

This was a very, very dangerous mission.

Thank you as well to the great intelligence professionals who helped make this very successful journey possible. I want to thank the soldiers and sailors, airmen and Marines involved in last night's operation. You are the very best there is anywhere in the world no matter where you go, there is nobody even close. I want to thank General Mark Milley and our Joint Chiefs of Staff. And I also want to thank our professionals who work in other agencies of the United States government and were critical to the mission’s unbelievable success. Last night was a great night for the United States and for the world.

The anti-Trump CNN host would go on to claim, without evidence, that Trump was “bending over backwards to thank Putin for allowing the U.S. to use its airspace,” during his speech. “Well, that is a curious juxtaposition,” Clapper added.

When one actually looks at Trump’s words, there was no “bending over backwards” for Russia like Tapper purported. He even admitted Trump thanked the intelligence community. According to reporting by CBS National Security correspondent David Martin, the Army’s Delta Force was the unit that entered Baghdadi’s compound. So, according to Tapper’s logic, because Trump broadly thanked the military, he wasn’t thanking them. It makes no sense.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CNN’s Stats of the Union
October 27, 2019
9:27:11 a.m. Eastern

(…)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: This raid was impeccable and could only have taken place with the acknowledgment and help of certain other nations and people. I want to thank the nations of Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq and I also want to thank the Syrian Kurds for certain support they were able to give us.

This was a very, very dangerous mission.

Thank you as well to the great intelligence professionals who helped make this very successful journey possible. I want to thank the soldiers and sailors, airmen and Marines involved in last night's operation. You are the very best there is anywhere in the world no matter where you go, there is nobody even close. I want to thank General Mark Milley and our Joint Chiefs of Staff. And I also want to thank our professionals who work in other agencies of the United States government and were critical to the mission’s unbelievable success. Last night was a great night for the United States and for the world.

(…)

9:58:07 a.m. Eastern

JAKE TAPPER: First of all, I just have to say, lots of details from President Trump. And I'm wondering, I don't want to take away the moment from him or the U.S. government for our special operators, obviously this is a big and important moment. But were you concerned at all, listening to that, whether he was giving too much information? I mean, I'm a journalist, I want it all, but I saw some grimaces around this table.

LISA MONACO (Obama Homeland Security adviser): Yeah, I was struck. I was struck by the details about having known ahead of time. I believe that's what the president said, that they knew ahead of time that there were tunnels, they knew ahead of time that there were booby traps. That says to me that there was some rather unique and probably exquisite intelligence that had been gathered, most likely from somebody on the ground. So, that's potentially concerning, and I wonder how intelligence professionals who have labored long and hard on this operation felt hearing that.

TAPPER: Let us take one moment just to talk about also the President’s long list of people he thanked. He started with Russia and then talked about Syria, Turkey, Iraq. He then said that there was some support from the Kurds. He did ultimately thank, obviously, the special operators and the intelligence community. What did you make of all of that?

MIKE ROGERS: Well, to me, that was where he got into this rambling thing. I thought he was pretty good when he stuck to the teleprompter. He went through a list of important, I think, announcements about the raid. By the way, including for the first time talking about how bad ISIS really is on the ground. Forced rapes, children forced into committing executions, to teach them at a young age. The burning of the pilot in the cage. I mean, they were raping, pillaging, and murdering all across Syria. I think the country needed to be reminded how bad al Baghdadi was.

TAPPER: Absolutely.

(…)

TAPPER: And I can’t help but notice, General Clapper, you may have been on his mind to a degree as well, given the fact that President Trump at least twice during that press conference slammed what the intelligence community should not be doing as opposed to what they should be doing. That's obviously a reference to the investigation into what exactly the Russians were claiming, et cetera. Twice he said that, once he said that this is what they should be focused on and then another time he talked about the intelligence community not doing what they should be doing.

Clearly, a reference to the investigation into whether-- how the Russians were reaching out to his campaign, and combined with the fact that he did not thank his CIA director, Gina Haspel and did not thank his director of national intelligence, Joe Maguire.

(…)

TAPPER: And it's interesting to me, just because the President seemed very reluctant to credit the Kurds while he was, at the same time, bending over backwards to thank Putin for allowing the U.S. to use its airspace.

CLAPPER: Well, that is a curious juxtaposition. But it's certainly not inconsistent with the President's consistent deference to Russia and he's constantly looking for opportunities to heap praise on them.

(…)

NB Daily al Baghdadi Dead Foreign Policy Middle East Syria Conspiracy Theories Military War on Terrorism Cable Television CNN State of the Union Video ISIS James Clapper Jake Tapper Donald Trump

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