Former President Donald Trump made headlines in 2019 when ordered a strike that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
While al-Baghdadi's death was widely covered, former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller recently disclosed previously unreported details about the event. What's more, some of them involve former First Lady Melania Trump.
An excerpt from the book explained that Mrs. Trump made an "unexpected" appearance in the White House Situation Room just as the president and members of his team were "waiting for the final assault."
"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," Miller wrote.
"Her presence was unexpected, to say the least," the former Green Beret recalled. "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."
Critics of the former president were quick to seize on news that his wife was present as the operation unfolded, with one Twitter user calling it "twisted and morbid."
There's something seriously twisted and morbid about a first lady witnessing an anti-terror military operation in real time. Why would she want to watch people die?https://t.co/jTjd3quoei
— It will never work out (@hit_the_roadJax) February 6, 2023
In addition to commenting on the first lady, Miller also recounted how "[t]he 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," Miller explained.
"[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," he stressed.
Fox News reported shortly after the raid that it had been dubbed "Operation Kayla Mueller" in honor of an American humanitarian aid worker who had been kidnapped and murdered by ISIS in 2013.
"She was held in many prisons," the victim's father, Carl Mueller, was quoted as saying of his late daughter's ordeal.
"She was held in solitary confinement. She was tortured. She was intimidated. She was ultimately raped by al-Baghdadi himself, he added.