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Trump says he didn't inform Democrats of Baghdadi raid because of potential leaks

President Trump said in a press conference Sunday that he did not inform congressional Democrats before launching a military operation that resulted in Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's death because of potential leaks.

"We were going to notify them last night, but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I've never seen before. There's no country in the world that leaks like we do, and Washington is a leaking machine. And I told my people we will not notify them until our great people are out — not just in but out. I don't want to have them greeted with firepower like you wouldn't believe."

What we know: The president did not inform House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel or Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith of the raid. Smith's office has reached out to the Defense Department to determine why there was no pre- or post-raid call with congressional leaders, according to NBC News' Alex Moe.

  • Trump said he did, however, inform the Russian government that U.S. soldiers were conducting an operation in northwestern Syria.
  • Pelosi celebrated the death of Baghdadi in a statement on Sunday, but added: "The House must be briefed on this raid, which the Russians but not top Congressional Leadership were notified of in advance, and on the Administration’s overall strategy in the region. Our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from Washington."

Of note: Fox New's Chris Wallace today pressed Vice President Mike Pence on why Trump did not notify Pelosi of the operation. The vice president did not give a direct answer, according to CNN's Oliver Darcy.

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