This Sunday, President Donald Trump formally announced the apparent death of ISIS founder and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who U.S. Special Forces cornered in northern Syria. Trump’s rollout of this information proceeded in a classically Trump-ian style, beginning with a cryptic tweet the night before that something “very big has just happened!” — and that was it. When Trump delivered a press conference confirming the news the following morning, he ended up struggling through lines about how great and smart and whatever else the targeted terrorists really were, as if it’s a popularity contest and he won.
At one point, for instance, Trump told reporters about ISIS:
‘These people are very smart … very technically brilliant. They use the internet better than anyone else in the world .. perhaps except Donald Trump.’
Trump’s “popularity contest” take on the whole thing kept going. He added:
‘This is the biggest there is. This is the worst ever. Osama bin Laden was big, but Osama bin Laden became big with the World Trade Center. This is a man who built a whole, as he would like to call it, a country.’
Note — bin Laden was killed under the administration of President Barack Obama. Trump no doubt knows this when he downplays the significance of the death of the leader of al Qaeda — who helped kill thousands of Americans — compared to the death of the leader of ISIS. Even in times of bringing national menaces to justice, Trump can’t help but resort to “look at me! I’m better than Obama!”