The New York Times wants you to know who the real enemy of U.S. troops was in the raid to get Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: DONALD TRUMP.

According to a handful of unnamed sources cited by the Times, the raid was successful IN SPITE OF not because of the president who ordered the raid:

The death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State leader, happened largely in spite of President Trump’s actions, not because of them, according to military, intelligence and counterterrorism officials

When you read the article, and not just the spin, the supposed Trump interference was announcing he would withdraw some troops from northern Syria:

President Trump knew the Central Intelligence Agency and Special Operations commandos were zeroing in on the location for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State leader, when he ordered American troops to withdraw from northern Syria earlier this month, intelligence, military and counterterrorism officials said on Sunday.

For months, intelligence officials had kept Mr. Trump apprised of what he had set as a top priority, the hunt for Mr. al-Baghdadi, the world’s most wanted terrorist.

But Mr. Trump’s abrupt withdrawal order three weeks ago disrupted the meticulous planning underway and forced Pentagon officials to speed up the plan for the risky night raid before their ability to control troops, spies and reconnaissance aircraft disappeared with the pullout, the officials said.

Mr. al-Baghdadi’s death in the raid on Saturday, they said, occurred largely in spite of, and not because of, Mr. Trump’s actions.

The Times does not identify its sources. Let’s say they really exist, is it a shock that the Times could find some people to criticize Trump on just about anything?

Note that there is no claim the raid had been greenlighted and was interrupted. Or even that there was actionable intelligence. To accept this as interference, you’d have to say no troop movements or changes in policy could be ordered until al-Baghdadi was capture or killed — something that already had taken years of unsuccessful efforts.

The Times also admits that the “military called off missions at least twice at the last minute” without claiming those aborted missions were related to the troop withdrawal. Also, actionable intelligence only became available a few days ago:

The final planning for the raid came together over two to three days last week. A senior administration official said that Mr. al-Baghdadi was “about to move.” Military officials determined that they had to go swiftly. If Mr. al-Baghdadi moved again, it would be much harder to track him with the American military pulling out its troops and surveillance assets on the ground in Syria.

By Thursday and then Friday, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said on ABC’s “This Week,” Mr. Trump “gave us the green light to proceed.’’

There is nothing to this story other than the Times doing what it and others did after the 2016 election — trying to delegitimize Trump. It got lots of clicks and retweets, but it’s the Russia Collusion hoax all over again.

 
 
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