Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke said that the raid that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi succeeded “despite” President Donald Trump.
“I think it would make sense for the president to congratulate those service members and the canine … but some have made the case, and it’s very compelling to me, that this raid was successful in spite of, or despite the president, not because of him,” the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate told Trevor Noah during a Monday appearance on “The Daily Show.”
O’Rourke then criticized the president for pulling troops out of northern Syria, saying the president turned “his back on those Kurdish fighters, whose intelligence and help located Baghdadi in the first place.”
“It is really a miracle that we were able to do this, but it is really owing to our allies, our friends, our partners on the ground, and those brave service members who put their lives on the line to ensure that there was justice for this country,” he said.
Last night, our special forces brought the leader of one of history’s most destructive terrorist groups to justice. Let’s thank our service members for their courage; and recommit to protecting all of the allies who are working with us to defeat ISIS—including the Kurds.
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) October 27, 2019
Many 2020 presidential candidates were in agreement with O’Rourke that Trump did not deserve any credit for the successful raid.
“This victory was not due to Donald Trump’s leadership,” former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday, according to The Hill. “It happened despite his ineptitude as commander in chief.”
A common theme amongst 2020 presidential candidates was that Trump had abandoned the Kurds in their time of need, even though they still were willing to help the U.S.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar told “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan that she is concerned by the president’s decision-making and “what he has done in terms of breaking down our alliances — leaving the Kurds who gave us intelligence for this operation, leaving them for slaughter.”
In an appearance on CNN, Sen. Bernie Sanders said that while bringing down a terrorist is a positive, Trump only brought further instability to the area, as the mission “was accomplished with information supplied by the Kurds. And as we know,” he added, “Trump has turned his back and betrayed the Kurds, something that I think will have a negative impact, not only in that region of the world, but terms of our relationship with allies from one end of this planet to the other.”
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg seemed to give slightly more credit and said at a campaign stop that “everybody involved deserves credit, but those who were at the tip of the spear deserve the most credit,” according to CBS News.
Fox Nation host Tammy Bruce pointed out that the mainstream media also did not want to give Trump credit, pointing to several headlines from NBC News, CNN and Bloomberg.
“All they could think about was ‘How is this going to affect impeachment,'” Bruce said on her show “Get Tammy Bruce.”
Trump announced al-Baghdadi’s death on Sunday, one day after the raid took place.
“U.S. Special Operations Forces executed a dangerous and daring nighttime raid in northwestern Syria and accomplished their mission in grand style,” he said, according to a White House transcript of his remarks.
“The raid was impeccable, and could only have taken place with the acknowledgment and help of certain other nations and people.
“I want to thank the nations of Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. And I also want to thank the Syrian Kurds for certain support they were able to give us. This was a very, very dangerous mission.”
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