Trump cites 'Washington leaks' for keeping raid on ISIS leader from congressional leaders

President Trump said Sunday that he did not tell some congressional leaders about the U.S. military raid in which ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed, citing "Washington leaks." 

Trump said at the White House that "some" leaders were notified and that others were being informed as he announced the death of the terror group's leader to the public. 

"We were going to notify them last night, but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before," Trump said. "There’s no country in the world that leaks like we do, and Washington is a leaking machine."


"I told my people we will not notify them until our great people are out — not just in but out," Trump added. 

He later confirmed that Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election Overnight Health Care: House Dem report blasts Trump coronavirus response | Regeneron halts trial of antibody drug in sickest hospitalized patients | McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 MORE (D-Calif.) was not notified in advance. 

He said he did speak with Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP faces fundraising reckoning as Democrats rake in cash The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Election night could be a bit messy The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden blitz battleground states MORE (R-S.C.) and Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrAs Trump downplayed the virus publicly, memo based on private briefings sparked stock sell-offs: NYT Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Bipartisan representatives demand answers on expired surveillance programs MORE (R-N.C.) about the operation following its conclusion.

"I wanted to make sure this was kept secret. I don't want to have men lost and women. I don’t want to have people lost," he said. 

He said that a "leak could have caused the death of all of them." 

Trump said no U.S. forces were killed during the raid.

Reports began to surface late Saturday that U.S. forces had carried out a raid in northwest Syria and that al-Baghdadi was believed to have been killed. 

Trump tweeted Saturday night that "something very big has just happened," teasing his Sunday announcement.

He said the tweet went out after U.S. forces returned safely from the mission.