President Trump reportedly asked a CIA official why the agency waited until a suspected terrorist target was a safe distance away from his family before killing him in a drone strike, and seemed “unimpressed” by CIA efforts to limit civilian casualties in the war on terror.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that after the president was shown a recorded video of a drone strike in Syria in which officials waited until the target was outside of his family’s home, one attendee of the meeting claims Trump asked, “Why did you wait?”
Sources told the Post that Trump “seemed impressed” when the CIA’s head of drone operations explained to Trump his agency’s techniques to limit the number of civilian casualties.
The meeting occurred shortly after Trump ordered the CIA to start arming drones in Syria. The directive rolled-back Obama-era initiatives to limit the agency’s drone usage strictly to surveillance and leave bombing to the military.
Obama’s intent was to allow the CIA to return to its core espionage mission and let the military take out terrorists, the Post reported.
According to Spin:
The military’s own statistics show that over 75 percent of the civilian casualties stemming from wars with ISIS in Iraq and Syria were incurred during the Trump administration. During the four-year conflict, 188 civilian casualties were reported prior to Trump’s inauguration. As of January, that number has since increased to 831.
Early in his candidacy, Trump explicitly promised to terrorists’ families should he become commander-in-chief.
“We’re fighting a very politically correct war,” Trump said on a December 2015 appearance on Fox & Friends. “And the other thing with the terrorists — you have to take out their families. When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families! They care about their lives, don’t kid yourselves. They say they don’t care about their lives. But you have to take out their families.”
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) December 2, 2015