House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) slammed President Donald Trump on Sunday for not giving her or other congressional leaders a heads up about the raid that led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
“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,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from Washington.”
During Trump’s press conference on al-Baghdadi’s death, the President told reporters that Russia had been informed of the operation.
“We told the Russians we’re coming in, because we had to go over them,” he said.
Trump also repeatedly praised Russia for their “great cooperation.”
“Russia treated us great,” he said. “They opened up. We had to fly over certain Russia areas, Russia-held areas. Russia was great.”
Trump said that he had not informed Pelosi of the raid because he wanted to prevent leaks.
“I wanted to make sure this kept secret,” he said. “I don’t want to have people lost.”
House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) told ABC News anchor Martha Raddatz that Trump hadn’t told the Gang of Eight about the operation either.
“Had this escalated, had something gone wrong, had we gotten into a firefight with the Russians, it’s to the administration’s advantage to be able to say, ‘We informed Congress we were going in, they were aware of the risks. We at least gave them the chance to provide feedback,'” Schiff said. “That wasn’t done here.”