President Donald Trump announced Sunday that the U.S. military, in conjunction with the CIA and intelligence, located and killed top ISIS commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. What has followed, however, has been a desperate need for recognition, according to a former policy adviser for Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT).
In the press conference, Trump told reporters that he believed the death of Baghdadi is more significant than the capture and death of Osama bin Laden, who orchestrated the attack on the World Trade Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
"And this was the president not just spiking the football after scoring the touchdown, but engaging in a lengthy touchdown dance," said Lanhee Chen. "This was really the president trying to make a point that the ISIS leader was not merely killed, but kill and humiliated, which is part of a message frankly not just for foreign audiences but for domestic audiences here in the United States. He wanted people to understand that this was significant to him; it was significant to him in a very visceral way. And the language reflected that. Now, there could be a debate about the appropriateness of that language, but obviously, it was meant to reflect the president’s personal feelings on the matter which he was able to do."
Washington Post national security reporter John Hudson explained that Baghdadi being "bigger" isn't exactly quantifiable in a scientific way.
"So, al Qaeda carried out the most lethal terrorist attack on American soil on 9/11. How does that compare to the caliphate and this quasi nation-state that was once the size of Great Britain?" asked Hudson. "That was a huge problem for the United States and the western world as there were hostages taken over. I mean, they're both terrible things. Why there was a need to compare one killing over another, that is unclear. But this was President Trump really being his most triumphant that we’ve seen him. And really sort of enjoying every single moment of it. Regaling reporters. Talking for almost an hour on every type of detail, details we don’t often see."
When former President Barack Obama gave the order to kill bin Laden, he came out to brief the press with a statement and didn't take any questions. Trump trashed Obama, saying that he wasn't the one behind it, that the military should get all of the credit.
Watch the full panel discussion below: