The White House released a photo of President Donald Trump and his advisors watching a raid in Syria that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

President Barack Obama’s White House photographer Pete Souza suggested on social media that the White House staged the photo.

The Situation Room

Souza’s Tweet

This is how Souza responded:

Well, people picked up on Souza’s thinking, agreeing the photo appeared staged and did not happen during the raid.

Souza quickly backtracked, pointing out he never said “staged.” This is true, but can you blame people for jumping to that conclusion due to the wording of his tweet?

Trump’s schedule indicated he played golf at his golf club at 3:30 p.m. He arrived back in DC at 4:18 p.m.

Actual Timeline

Oh, look! The New York Times published the timeline of the raid, which actually happened after 6:00 p.m.

This is from The New York Times (emphasis mine):

Mr. Trump said on Sunday that officials had gathered at the White House to monitor the raid, by Army Delta Force commandos, around 5 p.m. in Washington on Saturday. He added that American forces remained in the compound occupied by Mr. al-Baghdadi in northwestern Syria for about two hours.

By 9:23 p.m., Mr. Trump was confident enough about the outcome to hint at Mr. al-Baghdadi’s death with a tweet saying, “Something very big has just happened!” But United States officials did not confirm the ISIS leader’s killing for reporters for several more hours. Mr. Trump announced it to the world from the White House on Sunday shortly after 9 a.m.

Delta Force missions targeting so-called high value targets such as Mr. al-Baghdadi often include personnel with specialized expertise in areas ranging from intelligence collection to bomb disposal. Some are also trained in biometrics and have responsibility for helping to identify targets who are captured and killed, according to American officials familiar with the process.

To the shock of absolutely no one, Souza’s tweet about the NYT article did not receive nearly as much attention as his original tweet.

Souza’s first tweet? 18,715 retweets and 50,043 likes.

Souza’s tweet with actual information and not speculation? 778 retweets and 1,911 likes.


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