Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff were not informed in advance of the U.S. special operations forces raid in northwestern Syria in which ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died, Schiff said on ABC’s “This Week”
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“My understanding [Pelosi] wasn’t [told]. But a couple of things, first of all, good riddance. [Al-Baghdadi] was a blood thirsty killer to the degree that he retained operational control of ISIS, Schiff said. “This is an operational success, this is a symbolic victory. He had the blood of thousands and thousands of people on his hands, including many Americans and American journalists. So, this a great day, a ruthless killer has been brought to Justice. ”
Schiff appeared on “This Week” moments after President Donald Trump announced the raid in northwestern Syria on Saturday.
“Last night the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead,” the president said in remarks Sunday morning.
President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House, Oct. 27, 2019.
(MORE: President Trump says ISIS leader al-Baghdadi is dead after US military raid in Syria)
Trump confirmed that al-Baghdadi died after igniting a suicide vest, killing him and three of his child. “He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest killing himself and three children. His body was mutilated from the blast, the tunnel had caved in on it in addition, but test results gave certain immediate and totally positive identification. It was him,” the president said.
Schiff said the gang of 8, which includes congressional leaders of both parties, including himself, were not told about the operation before it was carried out
“In terms of notifying the Gang of 8, that wasn’t done,” Schiff said.
(MORE: State Department official appears under subpoena as part of impeachment probe)
Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images
Chairman of the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Adam Schiff (R), and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi hold a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 15, 2019.
The House Intelligence Committee chair appeared on “This Week” a day after Philip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary of European and Eurasian affairs, testified before his committee on the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
An official working on the impeachment investigation told ABC News that the State Department had tried to interfere in Reeker’s deposition.
“In light of an attempt by the State Department to direct Amb. Philip Reeker not to appear for his scheduled deposition, and efforts by the State Department to also limit any testimony that does occur, the House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to compel his testimony,” the official told ABC News in a statement. “As is required of him, Ambassador Reeker is now complying with the subpoena and answering questions.”