While speaking to reporters about the raid that killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, President Trump on Sunday claimed that former President Barack Obama’s capture of “bin Laden was a big thing, but this is the biggest there is.”
“Hamza — Bin Laden was a big thing, but this is the biggest there is,” the president said during a rambling press conference announcing the ISIS leader’s death.
“This is the worst ever. Osama bin Laden was very big but Osama bin Laden became big with the World Trade Center,” Trump said, comparing the Baghdadi raid to the death of the 9/11 mastermind in 2011.
“This is a man who built a whole — as he would like to call it — a country, a caliphate,” he added. “And was trying to do it again…Uh, I had not heard too much about his health. I’ve heard stories about he may not have been good health but he died in a ruthless, vicious manner, that I can tell you.”
Trump also provided reporters with unusually graphic details of the operation, including how long he knew about the operation, when he showed up in the Situation Room, how the operation was undertaken and how everyone died — including Baghdadi’s wives and children, reports The Washington Post.
“He was a sick and depraved man, and now he’s gone. Baghdadi was vicious and violent and he died in a vicious and violent way,” Trump said Sunday. “He was whimpering and crying and screaming all the way” before detonating a vest he was wearing.
Trump also spoke about wanting al-Baghdadi for the past few years. He brought up the death of Hamza bin Laden before bringing up his 2000 book The America We Deserve:
“If you read my book, there was a book just the World Trade Center came down, and I don’t get any credit for this, but that’s okay, I never do. But here we are. I wrote a book, a really very successful book, and in that book about a year before the World Trade Center was blown up, I said there is somebody named Osama bin Laden, you better kill him or take him out, something to that effect, he is big trouble… I saw this man, tall, handsome, very charismatic, making horrible statements about wanting to destroy our country. And I’m writing a book. I think I wrote 12 books, all did very well. And I’m writing a book, World Trade Center had not come down. I think it was about a year before the World Trade Center came down. And I’m saying to people take out Osama bin Laden, that nobody ever heard of. Nobody ever heard of. I mean, Al-Baghdadi everybody hears because he’s built this monster for a long time. But nobody ever heard of Osama bin Laden until the World Trade Center.”