NYT Reporter: No, Trump Was Not Legally Bound to Inform Pelosi and Schiff of ISIS Raid

President Donald Trump speaks during a Made in America showcase event on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, July 15, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump speaks during a Made in America showcase event on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, July 15, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


As I wrote this morning, Democrats, Obama loyalists, and members of the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) remained in “Get Trump” mode even in the midst of the good news over the weekend about the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In comments I’m sure were purely coincidental, Trump’s critics on the left and in the media almost immediately began echoing a Democratic talking point about how it was supposedly suspicious (and possibly illegal) that Trump had informed Russia about the raid in advance but not Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The chatter on this subject escalated so much to the point that New York Times national security and legal reporter Charlie Savage took to the Twitter machine to set the record straight:

Savage’s comments are in line with some others I’ve seen on the topic from trusted sources, including Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey, who explained more in detail:


… the raid on Baghdadi was a military operation, not a CIA covert op. It used intelligence garnered from a number of agencies, not all of them American, but the raid itself was conducted by military special forces under the command of the Pentagon.

Which means Trump was under no obligation to inform any member of Congress in advance.

Morrissey continues:

That doesn’t mean it’s not good practice to have congressional leadership on intel committees looped into such operations, but it’s not necessarily legally required. For that matter, it’s not legally required to notify congressional leadership at all for every single military operation in theaters where US troops are already operating with Congress’ knowledge, even if without their specific authorization, as has been the case in Syria for the past five years.

Makes sense, but nevertheless, Savage had to defend his comments when NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian chimed in, declaring the issue was “not a red herring” as Savage had proclaimed it to be:


Right. It’s a “grave accusation to make” considering how current House leadership leaks information like a sieve whenever politically convenient.

Savage responded, perhaps thinking he could shut down the concern trolling by reframing his point in a different way so discredited pseudo-journalists like Dilanian might understand:

Nevertheless, Dilanian persisted because Orange Man Bad and stuff:

Savage had moved on by that point, because there’s no getting through to some people.

Watch Dilanian, who is billed as a “national security and intelligence” reporter, go apoplectic when talking about how the “law requires” the “Gang of 8” to be informed of “significant intelligence activities.” He then said the “the legal loophole here” was that the operation was a military operation, not an intelligence operation:


He then laughably asserted that Gang of 8 members had a “tradition” of not leaking out sensitive intelligence information.

What’s so odd is that report was done BEFORE his tweets to Savage, so he largely got it right in his on-air yelling reporting but then wanted to argue with Savage about the same point later as though Savage was wrong.

Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.

— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –



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