“The View” co-hosts Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin criticized President Donald Trump on Monday for “bragging” about the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and not informing congressional leaders before the raid.
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg kicked off the segment by asking if the panel could “at least agree that the world is a better place without this guy in it?”
“Who, Trump or al-Baghdadi? Which one?” Behar joked.
“Baghdadi is a bad guy. I’m glad he’s dead,” she added. “Trump is now taking credit for all of this.”
Behar argued that the U.S. military special operators who carried out the mission deserved the credit, so Trump “should back off a little bit and stop bragging so much.”
On Sunday morning, the president announced the death of al-Baghdadi from the White House.
Trump gave credit to the military personnel who carried out the raid at the beginning of his remarks.
“U.S. Special Operations Forces executed a dangerous and daring nighttime raid in northwestern Syria and accomplished their mission in grand style,” he said. “The U.S. personnel were incredible.”
The president said the operation was named in honor of American aid worker Kayla Mueller of Prescott, Arizona, who was one of al-Baghdadi’s victims.
He also mentioned other prominent Americans killed by ISIS, including journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid worker Peter Kassig. All three were beheaded by ISIS militants.
Near the end of his short address to the nation, Trump thanked the Syrian Kurds, the “great intelligence professionals,” and many others.
“The View’s” Hostin accused the president of flouting “the rules” by not notifying congressional leadership before he conducted the raid. However, then-President Barack Obama, acting in his capacity as commander in chief, did not inform Congress before the raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in 2012.
“He had this sort of selective notification about the operation,” Hostin said of Trump.
“So rather than inform [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi, rather than inform [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Adam Schiff or the Gang of Eight, people that are supposed to be informed of this kind of operation, he informed just two people,” she said.
Trump told reporters on Sunday that he spoke with Republican Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham of South Carolina before he made his address to the nation about al-Baghdadi’s death.
Hostin contended that in conducting the operation without congressional knowledge, Trump removed himself from the “chain of command” and “natural norms.”
“It just concerns me that, even in something like this, he just doesn’t follow the rules,” she said.
Congress is not in the “chain of command” in the conduct of military operations. The Constitution gives the legislative body the power to declare war, while the president is specifically given the title of commander in chief of the military.
The Hill reported that Obama informed the Gang of Eight congressional leaders after the 2012 Bin Laden raid was completed but before he made the announcement to the nation. The Gang of Eight includes the House speaker, House minority leader, Senate majority leader, Senate minority leader and the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence committees.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Monday that then-Vice President Joe Biden called him after the bin Laden raid.
Asked if he was called before Trump’s announcement, McConnell replied, “I wasn’t, but I was in the similar position when President Obama ordered the attack on Osama bin Laden. I was not called in advance then, nor do I expect to be called in advance now.”
“The administration attempted to let me know. I didn’t connect with them before the president’s press conference, but they attempted to let me know before he went public, so the two situations were handled exactly the same from my point of view,” the majority leader added.
Trump told reporters on Sunday morning the reason he did not inform Pelosi and other congressional leaders is that he was concerned about leaks.
“We were going to notify them last night but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before,” he said. “There’s nothing — there’s no country in the world that leaks like we do.
“And I told my people we will not notify them until the — our great people are out,” the president said. “Not just in, but out. I don’t want to have them greeted with firepower like you wouldn’t believe.”
“The View” co-host Abby Huntsman took a contrary position to Behar and Hostin regarding Trump’s handling of the operation, arguing he should get his due.
“It’s a huge deal. It’s a big deal,” Huntsman said. “It’s the biggest death of a terror leader since Osama bin Laden.”
“I’m a believer that a president, like a CEO, when bad things happen, you get the blame,” she added. “When good things happen, you deserve some credit.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.