President Donald Trump made a rare Sunday morning address to the nation shortly after 9 a.m. ET to announce the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a two-hour US-led raid in Northern Syria.
“He was a sick and depraved man, and now he’s gone,” Trump said.
The major broadcast networks broke into regular programming to deliver Trump’s remarks from the Diplomatic Room of the White House.
The news sent the Sunday morning public affairs shows scrambling to deal with the impact of the death of the world’s most wanted terrorist. NBC News carried an hourlong special report that was anchored by “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd, who was already in place for his regular Sunday morning duties in the 9 a.m. ET hour.
“It is important. He was the leader of the group, he was the symbol of the group, he was the founder of the group,” Richard Engel, NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent, told Todd.
CBS News broke in to “CBS Sunday Morning” as anchor Jane Pauley delivered the news to viewers.
During his remarks, Trump at one point veered into a discussion of the 2011 death of Osama bin Laden. He reported that Baghdadi had died after detonating a suicide vest after being trapped in a tunnel. No U.S. personnel died, according to Trump, though three children who were with Baghdadi also died in the explosion, and two women who are believed to be Baghdadi’s wives died as well. Eleven children who survived were given to local forces.
Trumps said the operation was carried out with “cooperation” from Russia, Iraq, Turkey and Kurdish forces in Syria.
“Last night was a great night for the United States and for the world,” Trump said. “He died like a coward, the world is now a much safer place.”