Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that U.S. President Donald Trump informed Russia of the alleged death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before telling congressional leadership, the Washington Post reported.
Trump said he teased the announcement as soon as American forces landed safely in a third-country. He said he did not inform lawmakers on Capitol Hill, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, ahead of the raid, saying he was fearful of leaks.
“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 following Trump's official announcement.
“Our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from Washington,” Pelosi further stated according to the Washington Post.
During a lengthy news conference, Trump provided graphic details of al-Baghdadi's final moments as American forces pursued and cornered him and his children in a tunnel.
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"Last night, the United States brought the world's number one terrorist leader to justice," Trump announced at the White House. "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead."
When asked whether or not he informed Pelosi, Trump said, “No, I didn’t. I didn’t do that. I wanted to make sure this kept secret. I don’t want to have men lost, and women. I don’t want to have people lost,” according to the Post.
The report further notes that Trump said he would notify congressional leaders Saturday night but refrained from doing so because "Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before.”
Trump said he did not want to notify people until "our great people are out-not just in, but out."