Melania Trump Played Leading Role In Situation Room

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

It is revealed in former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller’s new book that the first lady sat in one of the most important chairs of the Situation Room during the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, offering him advice after the attack, and that she also provided advice to former President Donald Trump in the wake of the attack.

The president’s executive team was awaiting a final assault on al-Baghdadi at the time Melania Trump entered the Situation Room, Miller wrote, according to an excerpt obtained by the Daily Caller.

“Secretary of Defense Mark Esper quickly gave up his seat and she sat down next to the President, who introduced her to us as if we didn’t know who she was. Her presence was unexpected, to say the least. I wondered how it would play in the press if word got out that the First Lady had popped in to watch a major military operation. Not my problem, I figured. And after all, it was her house,” Miller wrote in “Soldier Secretary: Warnings from the Battlefield & the Pentagon about America’s Most Dangerous Enemies,” set to hit shelves Feb. 7.

There has never been any mention of the first lady’s presence in the Situation Room before. Among those present were President Donald Trump, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Vice President Mike Pence, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, according to a photo released by the White House.

It is important to note that Miller, who was the senior director at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) at the time that al-Baghdadi was killed, is not pictured in the photograph. Despite this, there is precedent over the years of counterterrorism officers being in the Situation Room in the course of counterterrorism operations, including during the death of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The book offers readers a glimpse into Miller’s time in the Trump administration leading up to the riot on Jan. 6, his three decades of military service, and what has happened to America’s military over the last decade.

Miller claims Donald Trump asked Brig. Gen. Marcus Evans, deputy director for special operations on the Joint Staff, to bring the first lady “up to speed.”

After a discussion about what may happen, Evans told the group that the U.S. “assault force had unleashed their combat dog” into the building with al-Baghdadi, “with our commandos close behind,” Miller wrote. Al-Baghdadi was cornered and detonated a suicide vest, killing himself, his two children, and two of his wives.

“The assault force commander wouldn’t declare ‘Jackpot’—the code word announcing that Baghdadi was dead—until the body was inspected. They would also take some tissue to check for a DNA match once they got back to friendly territory. [Then-deputy national security advisor Matt] Pottinger and I knew that some poor kid was searching through the dust-and smoke-shrouded rubble with his helmet-mounted lamp and handheld flashlight, trying to find Baghdadi’s head,” according to Miller.

In Miller’s account, Donald Trump then asked the group what would happen with the bodies, and Milley reacted by telling the group that he was going to be buried at sea along with the others. Donald Trump pressed Milley on what would happen to the “two women” who were killed, and Milley suggested the bodies could be left there, according to Miller.

“Don’t you think ISIS will parade their bodies around and make it look like they were innocent?” Donald Trump asked, Miller wrote.

A few minutes later, Evans made a call to US Central Command and whispered into Milley’s ear, and Milley said that a “barrage of missiles would pulverize the building” where the operation took place, the book states.

According to Miller, Donald Trump had asked the team for advice on how to address the American people about the operation.

To Miller’s surprise, Melania Trump interjected and “took over” the response to that question.

“You should talk about the dog,” she said, according to Miller. “Everyone loves dogs.”

Donald Trump agreed.

The President then presented Conan the dog with an award at the White House, saying he did “such a great job in capturing and killing the leader of ISIS.”

There was no immediate response from Donald Trump, Pence, O’Brien, Esper, Evans or Milley regarding the Daily Caller’s inquiry regarding corroborating the details contained in the report.

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