Donald Trump's Explicit Detailing of Baghdadi Killing Echoed the 'Crudeness' of ISIS, Says CNN Journalist

President Donald Trump confirmed the death of the leader of militant group Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, on Sunday, delivering the news with relish in a live televised statement.

The nature of the announcement and the level of detail Trump gave prompted disquiet among the media and observers, who noted the president's apparent enjoyment of the moment and raised concerns that his statement may have compromised operational security.

Nick Paton Walsh, an international correspondent for CNN, even suggested that there were similarities between Trump's statement and the kind of aggressive, visceral rhetoric the international community has come to expect of ISIS itself.

Speaking on CNN on Sunday, Walsh said there were several moments in the speech which "jarred to some degree" and that the White House's management of the event was "extraordinary."

Walsh said the "explicit details" Trump gave "echoed, frankly, the crudeness you would often expect to hear maybe from ISIS ." He added that the statement was "disturbing" to hear.

Baghdadi was killed during a special forces operation in the rebel-held northwestern Syrian province of Idlib on Saturday.

The president said that the ISIS leader, cornered in a sealed tunnel, detonated a suicide vest as U.S. troops closed in on his position. Three of his children are also believed to have died in the explosion.

Trump said the militant was "whimpering, crying and screaming all the way." He added that the 48-year-old had "spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread" while a U.S. military dog chased him down the tunnel. The president said the "beautiful" and "talented" dog was injured in the explosion.

"He died like a dog, he died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place," Trump added of Baghdadi.

But experts cast doubt on Trump's description of the operation. The only footage of the raid was taken by overhead surveillance assets tracking heat signatures of those involved, and did not capture audio. Thus it is not clear how Trump could have knowledge of Baghdadi's final moments.

Though the soldiers conducting the operation would have been wearing body cameras, The New York Times reported that the footage had not been delivered to the White House by the time Trump held his press conference.

Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has refused to confirm Trump's account of the raid.

Esper spoke with ABC News on Sunday, and when pressed as to how Trump knew Baghdadi had been "whimpering" and "crying" replied, "I don't have those details." Esper suggested Trump may have "had the opportunity to talk to commanders on the ground."

Donald Trump, announcement, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, killing
President Donald Trump announces the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on October 27, 2019 at the White House in Washington, D.C. JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images/Getty
Donald Trump's Explicit Detailing of Baghdadi Killing Echoed the 'Crudeness' of ISIS, Says CNN Journalist | News