President Barack Obama’s CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell condemned President Trump’s speech about the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi for having a “locker room feel.”
In a press conference on Sunday, President Trump painted a humiliating picture of Baghdadi’s death, saying, “He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.”
This vivid description of Baghdadi’s death frustrated Michael Morell, who appeared on Face the Nation in an interview, and said that the Obama administration went out of its way not to celebrate Osama bin Laden’s death to prevent retaliation.
“You don’t want a locker room kind of feel to this,” said Michael Morell. “That was the one thing we worked really hard on after the bin Laden raid, is don’t make those kinds of statements, because it does inspire other people.”
Morell, who was widely expected to become Hillary Clinton’s CIA director if she had won the 2016 election, said it was troubling that President Trump said he wanted to show footage of Baghdadi’s death to deter his followers, The Washington Examiner reported.
“I think it’s all right to say we used DNA matching to figure out that it was him,” Michael Morell said. “But to actually talk about body parts and actually bringing them back with us, right, so that we have them here with us I think is going too far.”
Retired Adm. James Winnefeld added to Morell’s remarks, claiming that the battle against ISIS was one of “religious freedom” and noting that Osama Bin Laden’s body was disposed of secretly at sea in a way respectful to Islam.
“This fight is all about is religious freedom,” said James Winnefield.
“It’s about respect for other religions, and if you look back to the bin Laden raid, as much as we detested that man and as much harm as he did to our nation, we treated his body with respect that is due under Islam and this was a little bit tough,” he added.