DONALD Trump didn’t tell top Democrat Nancy Pelosi about the daring raid on Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’s lair because he feared the information may be “leaked”.

The US President- who says those involved in Saturday’s deadly operation brought “body parts” of the ISIS monster back with them – admitted he was worried the mission could be compromised.

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Trump said US military helicopters flew over territory controlled by Russian and Syrian forces before landing at al-Baghdadi’s compound in Syria
AP:Associated Press
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was deliberately kept out-of-the-loop about the pending operation
AP:Associated Press

Trump said on Sunday that Pelosi and other officials were “going to be notified” on Saturday night, “but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before”.

Criticising Washington D.C. as a “leaking machine” the president said he decided “we will not notify them until our great people are out [of Syria].”

He did not want troops “greeted with firepower like you wouldn’t believe.”

While he kept the raid secret from Pelosi, Trump hinted about its success on Twitter, boasting before his public announcement “something very big has just happened!”

Vice President Mike Pence said that the decision to keep information from Pelosi was not an indication of a lack of trust in her, reports Fox News.

I wanted to make sure this kept secret. I don’t want to have people lost.

Donald Trump

Trump explained that he hadn’t kept her in-the-loop about the audacious operation as he didn’t want any members of the US military to die, should news of the pending raid leak out.

He said: “I wanted to make sure this kept secret. I don’t want to have people lost.”

But Pelosi hit out at his decision, criticising him for failing to inform leaders in Congress beforehand.

She said: “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.”

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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed in an American raid in Syria
AP:Associated Press
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An aerial view taken on October 27 shows the site that was hit by helicopter gunfire, killing ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
AFP or licensors
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Trump says he watched much of the mission unfold from the White House Situation Room on Saturday night
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Trump hints on Twitter that ‘something very big has happened’
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Hours later, official confirmation about the successful raid from the White House

The president said that Russia was also not notified before the strike – despite Russia currently having a military presence in the area.

Russia in turn has mocked Saturday’s raid, with foreign affairs spokesman Konstantin Kosachyov saying he was skeptical as, “last respects have been paid to al-Baghdadi at least five times in the past.”

Pence has defended the president’s decision to keep the raid secret from Pelosi, telling Fox News yesterday that Trump did not mean to say he did not trust the House Speaker.

He added: “I don’t think that was the implication at all.

“We maintain the tightest security here.”

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Trump said the only people aware of the operation before it was carried out “were the few people I dealt with.”

He mentioned Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley were aware of the looming mission.

His secretiveness comes days after he branded Pelosi a “very sick person” after she and senior Democrats stormed out of a furious White House meeting.

Pelosi appeared to question the president’s mental capabilities by calling on the public to “pray for his health” after a meeting over the Syrian crisis descended into an explosive row, which continued on Twitter.

Trump tweeted: “Nancy Pelosi needs help fast!”

The president has also allegedly dubbed her a “third-grade”, as opposed to a “third-rate”, politician.

BAGHDADI ‘DIED CRYING’

Their spats come as the Democrats continue their impeachment inquiry into Trump’s request to Ukraine to dig dirt on rival Joe Biden.

A whistle-blower alleged that Trump tried to pressure Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating his opponent.

Confirming the raid yesterday, the President said the ISIS chief – who became the world’s most wanted man – died “crying, whimpering and screaming and bringing three kids with him”.

Eight American military helicopters flew over territory controlled by Russian and Syrian forces, flying over heavily militarised territory controlled by multiple nations and forces before landing at Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s compound.

Hearing the soldiers enter his compound, a startled Baghdadi fled into a network of underground bunkers and tunnels that snaked through the compound.

The stout, bearded militant leader wore a suicide vest and dragged along three children as he fled from the American troops.

He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three youngsters.

President Trump says that watching the raid that killed the terror group leader as it was underway felt “as though you were watching a movie.”

And he’s suggested that the video be released to the public to dissuade Baghdadi’s followers.

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The moment the bloodthirsty jihadi met his end by blowing himself up
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One of the structures hit by helicopter gunfire which killed nine people, including Baghdadi
EPA
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Scorched earth and household items were all that remain as a result of the daring offensive
EPA
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Donald Trump shared a photo of Nancy Pelosi pointing at him from across the table during an explosive row in the White House
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Trump claimed that the Democrat House Speaker ‘needs help fast’ – and suggested she had a ‘total meltdown’

 

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