Trump Honors Conan the Hero Special Forces Dog at the White House

President Donald Trump had an impromptu special event at the White House today.

He warned reporters there would be an “animal” involved but didn’t say what it was all about.

But when he walked out with the animal, they all knew immediately who it was – Conan, the hero Special Forces dog who helped take out Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS during a raid last month.

President Trump joked that Conan was trained to attack if you open your mouth – and warned the press to be careful, eliciting some laughter.

Trump praised Conan saying he was “incredible,” “smart” and the “ultimate fighter. Although he had been wounded during the raid, he seemed in fine shape and has reportedly recovered from his injuries.

Trump said that they had just given Conan a medal and a certificate for his service. The President also mentioned that other members of the Special Forces had visited but obviously couldn’t come out and be viewed by the press.

He said he thought that Conan understood what was going on. The dog certainly seemed happy and taken with the moment as he stood with his handler, the President, Vice President Mike Pence, and First Lady Melania Trump. He seemed particularly affectionate and taken with Pence, who kept petting him and rubbing his head.

From Washington Examiner:

Conan, a Belgian Malinois, is reportedly a veteran of more than 50 missions. Trump had been considering giving him an Purple Heart, an honor bestowed to troops who have been wounded or killed in combat.

Defense Department regulations stipulate that military working dogs are not allowed to receive the Purple Heart, which is awarded to troops who have been killed or wounded while serving the country. The prohibition was implemented after a dog named Chips was honored with one in 1943 for his service during World War II.

Baghdadi was killed during a top-secret operation in northwest Syria, Trump announced at the White House on Oct. 27. He said that Conan has been on other “important” raids since the successful operation.