Trump simply cannot help himself, apparently, from embellishing the truth to make it far more dramatic than it was. This time it was during his announcement of the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, when he said that at the end he was crying and wimpering. Senior officials have no idea what he’s talking or which orifice he dragged that one out of.
It was a vivid scene worthy of the ending of a Hollywood thriller, the image of a ruthless terrorist mastermind finally brought to justice “whimpering and crying and screaming all the way” to his death. But it may be no more true than a movie script.
In the days since President Trump gave the world a graphic account of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s last minutes, no evidence has emerged to confirm it. The secretary of defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the regional commander who oversaw the operation that killed the leader of the Islamic State all say they have no idea what the president was talking about…One American official who was deeply familiar with the operation dismissed the president’s version of events as mere grandstanding. Another senior official briefed extensively on the mission said, “I don’t know how he would know that. It sounds like something he made up.” The surveillance drone video Mr. Trump watched in the Situation Room had no live audio.
The White House, for its part, has provided neither corroboration nor explanation of the president’s account. Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, dismissed “trying to pick apart the details of the death” of the leader of the Islamic State. “Is it not possible to just celebrate that a terrorist, murderer and rapist has been killed?” she asked in an email.
Perhaps that’s the question we should be asking Trump. He didn’t need to embellish or exaggerate the story to make it more dramatic, as the mere reality that we had successfully taken out the most brutal terrorist leader in the world should have been enough. But Trump can’t help himself. He’s a carnival barker who sees his job as a salesman, and he couldn’t possibly care any less about whether that sales pitch is true or not. Anyone who doubts that simply isn’t paying attention or is essentially brainwashed at this point.