Vice President Mike Pence speaks to the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, Friday, April 26, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Fox News’ host Chris Wallace, who no longer bothers to hide his hatred for President Trump, interviewed Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday about the raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bekr al-Baghdadi.
“The president was asked specifically whether he had informed the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi about this raid last night, and he said no, and then he added ‘I wanted to make sure that no American forces were lost.’ The implication seeming to be that he was worried that Pelosi or members of Congress would leak this. Does the president not trust the Speaker of the House with sensitive national security information?” asked Wallace.
Pence refused to go there. He told Wallace, “I don’t think that was the implication at all. I think from the time that we got actionable intelligence, the President’s total focus here was on a successful mission and the safety of American troops.”
Wallace asked the question again, “Why didn’t he tell Nancy Pelosi?”
Pence answered, “We maintain the tightest possible security here and when we got the confirmation on Saturday that al-Baghdadi was on site and our troops began to move into the region, as the President said, our aircraft were moving over some very potentially hostile areas. We wanted them to be able to get in and get out, it’s a dangerous mission on the ground. They went with the resolve and the determination (inaudible) to bring al-Baghdadi to justice but they also went with our prayers and I just couldn’t be more proud. When they were wheels up out of country, no American casualties and al-Baghdadi is dead.”
Wallace pressed further, “We all applaud that. I do want to ask you, it is my job as a newsman, sir, respectfully, why didn’t the President notify the Speaker of the House?”
Again, Pence dodged the question saying, “I just want to emphasize the president’s focus here throughout particularly the last several days was on the mission to bring a man who was the most wanted man in the world, a man who had brought unspeakable violence through the ISIS caliphate, who was exporting violence throughout the world to justice and that combined with ensuring the safety of our forces coming in, executing the mission and moving out was the President’s directive throughout this effort and I know it animated every decision that he made along the way.”
Actually, Mike, the President could not have been more clear. When a reporter asked President Trump if he “had notified the congressional leaders about this? Pelosi, Schiff, Mitch McConnell?” he replied:
We notified some. Others are being notified now as I speak. We were going to notify them last night but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before. There’s no country in the world that leaks like we do. And Washington is a leaking machine. And I told my people we will not notify them until our great people are out, not just in, but out. I don’t want to have them greeted with firepower like you wouldn’t believe. So, we were able to get in. It was top secret…
A leak could have cost the deaths of all of them.
At another point, Trump answered, “No, I didn’t. I didn’t do that. I wanted to make sure this kept secret. I don’t want to have men lost, and women. I don’t want to have people lost.”
Although the Vice President is far too diplomatic to say it, no Chris, the President does not trust the Speaker of the House with sensitive national security information. Or any information. For three years, Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders have been gunning for Trump. After winning back the House majority during the midterms, removing Trump from office has become their number one priority.
Back in December, Pelosi began rewriting the relevant House rules which would ease the way to impeachment for the 116th Congress. Even before returning to Washington in January, committee Chairmen were mapping out their strategies and planning their investigations to find a crime with which to destroy Trump.
The President is not imagining they are out to get them.
The Democrats had no choice but to try to act as if they were pleased that the most wanted terrorist had been killed, or risk the appearance of being un-American. But they weren’t pleased at all because it gave Donald Trump another win, a very major one, to add to his growing list of achievements.
Yesterday, I addressed this question in a post. I truly believe that Pelosi would have preferred seeing the troops lose their lives in a spectacular debacle than to see him take a victory lap. Yes, although Pence refused to admit it, Trump’s distrust of the Democrats was precisely the reason they were not told of the plans ahead of time.
Regarding Trump’s decision not to notify Democratic leaders in advance, Pelosi 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.”
First, Russia had to be notified because U.S. troops had to fly over Russian controlled areas and likely would have been shot down otherwise. Secondly, it wasn’t too long ago that Pelosi pointed a finger at the President, asked him why all roads lead to Putin, then stormed out of the meeting.
Frankly, Pelosi and her minions pose a far greater threat to President Trump than Putin.
Additionally, she and Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff, last weekend, “led a high-level congressional delegation to Afghanistan and did not publicly disclose the trip until the group had returned.”
And the whole thing is especially rich given the secrecy with which the Democrats have been conducting their impeachment hearings.
(Relevant segment begins at 9:50.)