“Our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from Washington,” she said in a statement on Sunday.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said at an unrelated news conference Sunday in New York that he learned about the death of Baghdadi after seeing it on television.
“I didn’t know. I saw it on TV,” the New York Democrat said. When asked for his reaction to the news, Schumer added, “My reaction? Look, it’s great that we’ve gotten al-Baghdadi and killed him. He’s a dangerous man, an evil man. The fight against ISIS has to continue.”
In a statement released later Sunday, Schumer said, “I look forward to receiving a briefing about this raid and the plan to deal with the escaped ISIS prisoners.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called the raid an “operational success,” but also said he was not informed about the raid before it took place.
“Had this escalated, had something gone wrong, had we gotten into a fire fight with the Russians, it’s to the administration’s advantage 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’,” The California Democrat said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “That wasn’t done here. I think that’s a mistake, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that it was a success and a ruthless killer has been taken off the battlefield.”
“When it comes to what’s happening in Syria, I like what I see,” the South Carolina Republican told reporters, adding that, “the President’s position and my position is really not that far off.”
“The President changed the rules of engagement,” Graham said. “This is a moment where President Trump’s worst critics should say: well done, Mr. President.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office would not comment when asked if he knew of the raid beforehand, but McConnell praised the operation.
“I applaud President Trump’s announcement that U.S. special forces have eliminated ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The world’s most wanted man has been brought to justice. The world is a safer place today,” he said in a statement. “This victory for the U.S. and our many counterterrorism partners is a significant step for the campaign against ISIS, for the future of the Middle East, and for the safety of the American people and free people around the world.”
At lunch on Thursday with GOP senators, Trump said he was convinced good things were coming soon on Syria — but didn’t go further than that, according to a GOP source familiar, who says it now seems to be a reference to Baghdadi.
There were additional discussions on Friday and Saturday at the White House with Trump and some in his circle about Syria, including Hill confidantes — and an indication an announcement was coming, another GOP source said. But it’s unclear how much detail they received.
In 2014, former House Speaker John Boehner pushed back against the White House’s argument that it could not provide a heads up to lawmakers about a prisoner swap that freed Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl due to its sensitive nature. Boehner countered that he was briefed multiple times by the Obama administration about the raid that took down Osama bin Laden.
CNN’s Manu Raju, Laura Ly, Nikki Carvajal, Josh Girsky and Jamie Wiener contributed to this report.
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