The Washington Post’s headline describing former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as a “religious scholar” is a false, “sick” narrative and should be viewed as “appalling,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday on “Fox & Friends.”
Pompeo said the newspaper’s timing and choice of words were completely out of line and called for those responsible to apologize.
“I think it’s appalling and sick … that they’ve frankly not apologized for taking this man who was the head of the terrorist organization that beheaded people… who led a caliphate that threatened large pieces of the Middle East and indeed, presented risks to the United States and America,” Pompeo said.
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“The fact that a national newspaper would describe this person as an “austere scholar” in their headline — in the immediate aftermath of the achievements of President Trump and the administration, is truly appalling,” Pompeo continued.
Al-Baghdadi, who took over as the head of ISIS after his predecessor Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was killed in 2010, detonated a suicide vest as U.S. special forces closed in. Troops were sent to attack a compound in northern Syria where al-Baghdadi was located, according to a U.S. defense official.
No U.S. Special Operations forces were harmed or killed during the mission, and Trump claimed the operation had been in the works for several weeks.
Fox News host Sean Hannity also weighed in on the headline and called it “sick and repulsive,” in a Sunday Twitter post.
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“An ‘austere religious scholar’? ‘Dead at 48’? No—he was cornered by the greatest, toughest, best military heroes on earth!! How about we killed the evil SOB. This is exactly why America will never trust these mainstream corrupt fake news outlets ever again,” Hannity tweeted.