A new tell-all book from a former top Trump administration has revealed some never-before-reported news about former first lady Melania Trump and her involvement in the U.S. Special Forces operation to take out Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
According to former Acting Defense Sec. Chris Miller, the former first lady was not only present in the Situation Room of the White House during the al-Baghdadi operation but also gave the president some key advice afterward on how best to share the news of the killed terrorist leader with the American people, the Conservative Brief reported.
Per Miller’s book, it had been Melania’s idea for her husband to highlight and give recognition to the critical role played in that operation by a highly-trained combat dog named Conan.
First lady in the Situation Room
This revelation about former first lady Trump is included in Miller’s new book, “Soldier Secretary: Warnings from the Battlefield & the Pentagon about America’s Most Dangerous Enemies,” which just went on sale this week.
The Daily Caller received a sneak peek at excerpts of the book prior to its release and shared what Miller, who at that time was the senior director of the National Counterterrorism Center, had written about Melania Trump’s “unexpected” involvement in the October 2019 military operation that ultimately killed Islamic State terror leader al-Baghdadi.
“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,” Miller wrote. “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.”
“You should talk about the dog”
After the first lady had been brought “up to speed” on what was happening by Brig. Gen. Marcus Evans, then the Joint Staff’s deputy director for special operations, Miller wrote that Evans then let it be known that the “assault force had unleashed their combat dog” into al-Baghdadi’s compound “with our commandos close behind,” shortly after which the terror leader had detonated an explosive vest that killed himself, two of his wives, and two of his children.
That was followed by a discussion of what would occur in the immediate aftermath, with al-Baghdadi’s remains being taken to have his identity confirmed prior to burial at sea as well as how a “barrage of missiles would pulverize” the compound and deny the Islamic State the opportunity to parade around the dead bodies of al-Baghdadi’s wives and children as “innocent” victims of the American strike.
The conversation then turned to how then-President Trump should address the American people to inform them about what had just happened, according to Miller, and that is when the first lady surprisingly “took over” to give her husband a key piece of advice that he eventually followed.
“You should talk about the dog,” she was reported to have said. “Everyone loves dogs.”
Combat dog honored, as first lady had suggested
Just a couple of days after the operation, then-President Trump tweeted out a photo of the combat dog, albeit with its name, and wrote, “We have declassified a picture of the wonderful dog (name not declassified) that did such a GREAT JOB in capturing and killing the Leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi!”
Just a couple of days after that, Trump tweeted out another picture of the dog, albeit one that was clearly photoshopped, which was captioned “AMERICAN HERO!” and showed him awarding a fictitious dog paw-version of the U.S. Medal of Honor to the heroic canine.
AMERICAN HERO! pic.twitter.com/XCCa2sGfsZ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2019
Ultimately, ABC News reported in Nov. 2019 that Trump, along with his first lady and Vice President Mike Pence, invited and greeted Conan the combat dog, a Belgian Malinois, to the White House to be petted and praised and given a legitimate award, certification, medal, and a plaque in recognition of his contribution to the operation to take out the Islamic State leader.