Trump Fundraising off Baghdadi Death, 2020 Ads Say Democrats Will Deplete National Security

President Donald Trump's reelection campaign proclaimed him an all-time anti-terrorism mastermind Sunday within hours of announcing the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, using fundraiser ads to describe the president as the only viable choice for keeping the U.S. military strong.

The campaign pounced on Sunday's announcement of the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in response to an operation by U.S. special forces, using it for a fundraising push that touted the "fierce leadership" and prowess of Trump in military operations and national security. The barrage of ads included a series of polls, questionnaires and fundraiser solicitations within hours of the news that Baghdadi had blown himself up in northern Syria.

In addition to highlighting Trump as a top anti-terrorism leader, the campaign included warnings about how the election of Democrats will harm U.S. national security. The fundraising ads also state Trump kept his 2016 campaign talking point of keeping America safe.

"It is a great day for the United States of America, and for the rest of the world," a Sunday Trump fundraising email reads. "Under the fierce leadership of our Commander-in-Chief, the radical ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead. Terrorists should never sleep soundly knowing that the U.S. will completely destroy them."

"President Trump has brought the #1 terrorist leader to justice -- he's KEEPING AMERICA SAFE. Rate his job performance. Take our poll in the NEXT HOUR," reads a text sent out by the Trump reelection campaign. The link takes respondents over to a question that offers the option of rating his recent job performance as "great," "good" or just "okay."

After completing the survey, the Trump-Pence fundraising ad continues, offering donation increments ranging from $35 to more than $2,800. After requesting an email address from potential donors, the ad cautions Americans against voting for Democrats, claiming they will de-fund the U.S. military.

"Now take the next step. Our President has accomplished more for our Nation than any other President in the history of the United States. Under his fierce leadership, ISIS is being ELIMINATED. If President Trump isn't re-elected Democrats will deplete our great military and weaken our national security," the Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. ad says.

Trump is by no means the first president or politician to use a military strike against a terrorist leader as a boon to campaign fundraising. After the successful 2011 Abbottabad compound raid which killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, the Obama 2012 reelection campaign highlighted this success.

"We're taking the fight to al-Qaida," Obama said at a May 2011 event in Austin, Texas, which raised about $2 million for the Obama Victory Fund. "Because of the extraordinary bravery of the men and women who wear this nation's uniform and the outstanding work of our intelligence agencies, Osama bin Laden will never again threaten the United States."

Then-real estate businessman Trump tweeted several criticisms of Obama for "taking credit" for SEAL Team 6's operation to kill bin Laden in the lead-up to the 2012 presidential election against Republican Mitt Romney. "Stop congratulating Obama for killing Bin Laden. The Navy Seals killed Bin Laden. #debate," Trump tweeted.

"Why don't we ask the Navy SEALs who killed Bin Laden? They don't seem to be happy with Obama claiming credit. All he did is say O.K.," Trump tweeted in October 2012.

In another Trump 2020 fundraising ad released this weekend, the campaign ad said the president won't get credit for Baghdadi's death because, "Unfortunately, Fake News CNN hates President Trump more than they love our country."

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee both broke third quarter fundraising records, amassing a combined $125 million between the two operations and about $308 million total on the year.

"You know, [the Islamic State terrorists] use the internet better than almost anybody in the world, perhaps other than Donald Trump," the president remarked during the Sunday Baghdadi announcement.

trump 2020 baghdadi fundraising ads
President Trump's 2020 reelection campaign is claiming he "brought the #1 terrorist leader to justice" in fundraising advertisements which say Dems will hurt national security. Drew Angerer/Staff/Getty Images
Trump Fundraising off Baghdadi Death, 2020 Ads Say Democrats Will Deplete National Security | U.S.