Oct 27, 2019

Trump on Baghdadi raid: "Bin Laden was big but this was bigger"

President Trump said in a press conference Sunday that the operation that resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State, was "bigger" than the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, before falsely suggesting he had predicted bin Laden's attack on the World Trade Center.

"I'm writing a book. World Trade Center had not come down. ... And I'm saying to people take out Osama bin Laden, that nobody ever heard of. I mean, al-Baghdadi everybody hears of because he's built this monster for a long time. But nobody ever heard of Osama bin Laden until really the World Trade Center. But about a year before the World Trade Center came down, the book came out. I was talking about Osama bin Laden. I said, 'You have to kill him. You have to take him out.' Nobody listened to me."

Why it matters: Bin Laden orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon that killed 2,977 people in total, making it the most devastating attack on American soil in modern history.

Reality check: Trump's 2000 book, "The America We Deserve," did not predict the attacks. It only mentions bin Laden as an al-Qaeda leader and one of many threats to U.S. security, according to AP.

Go deeper: Trump confirms death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Go deeper