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  • WE ARE AWAITING A STATEMENT ON

  • THIS SUNDAY MORNING FROM

  • PRESIDENT TRUMP AT ANY MOMENT

  • FROM THE DIPLOMATIC ROOM IN THE

  • WHITE HOUSE.

  • THE PRESIDENT IS EXPECTED TO

  • ANNOUNCE A U.S.-LED SPECIAL

  • OPERATION MISSIONS KILLED ABU

  • BAKR AL BAGHDADI.

  • THE RAID HAPPENING IN NORTHERN

  • SYRIA ON SATURDAY.

  • SEVERAL OTHER PEOPLE WERE ALSO

  • KILLED.

  • PRESIDENT TRUMP TWEETING ON

  • SATURDAY NIGHT, QUOTE, SOMETHING

  • VERY BIG HAS JUST HAPPENED.

  • LET'S BEGIN WITH NBC CHIEF

  • FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT RITUALSHIP

  • RICHARD ENGLE IN NORTHERN SYRIA

  • WITH DETAILS OF THE RAID.

  • RICHMOND, GOOD MORNING.

  • HOW CONVINCED ARE WE THAT WE

  • HAVE AL BAGHDADI?

  • >> Reporter: WELL, U.S.

  • OFFICIALS ARE PRETTY CONVINCED.

  • THEY ARE NOT GIVING THE 100%

  • CONFIRMATION.

  • WE MIGHT HEAR THAT SOON FROM

  • PRESIDENT TRUMP BUT THEY ARE

  • VERY CONFIDENT THE OVERNIGHT

  • RAID WHICH BEGAN AROUND 11:00

  • LOCAL TIME DID, IN FACT, KILL

  • ABU BAKR AL BAGHDADI, THE LEADER

  • OF ISIS, THE WORLD'S MOST WANTED

  • TERRORIST.

  • IT HAPPENED ON A VILLAGE ON THE

  • BORDER OF SYRIA AND TURK AND WE

  • HAVE BEEN TO A HALF DOZEN TIMES.

  • A WELL-KNOWN SMUGGLING VILLAGE

  • SO IT'S BELIEVED THAT BAGHDADI

  • WAS TRYING TO LEAVE SYRIA AND

  • PERHAPS GO TO TURKEY AND STAY IN

  • THIS AREA THAT HAS AN OPEN-FLOW

  • OF PEOPLE.

  • NOW WITNESSES IN THE VILLAGE

  • TELL US THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED.

  • AROUND 11:00, FIRST, THEY HEARD

  • HELICOPTERS COME IN.

  • U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES.

  • THE HELICOPTERS CAME IN IN

  • FORCE.

  • THEY WERE CIRCLING AND OPENING

  • FIRE.

  • THIS WAS NOT A QUICK OPERATION.

  • IT WAS NOT AN IN AND OUT.

  • THEY WERE CIRCLING AND FIRING

  • FOR QUITE A BIT OF TIME.

  • THE WHOLE THING LASTING THREE TO

  • FOUR HOURS.

  • THEN AMERICAN TROOPS LANDING.

  • THEY DIDN'T JUST ATTACK ONE

  • TARGET.

  • THEY TARGETED MULTIPLE HOUSES

  • AND A CAR IN THE AREA.

  • THE MAIN FOCUS, HOWEVER, WHAT

  • THEY THINK WAS THE HIDEOUT OF

  • ABU BAKR AL BAGHDADI.

  • THEY WENT INSIDE.

  • THERE WAS GUNSHOTS.

  • THE WITNESS THAT WE SPOKE TO WAS

  • ABOUT 500 YARDS AWAY.

  • HE SAID HE COULD HEAR THE

  • HELICOPTERS OVER HIS HOME.

  • HE COULD FEEL THE WIND FROM THE

  • HELICOPTER BLADES PUSHING INTO

  • HIS HOUSE, RATTLING THE WINDOWS,

  • BUT HE SAID HE WASN'T ABLE TO GO

  • OUTSIDE.

  • WHAT HAPPENED IN THAT HOUSE,

  • IT'S QUITE UNCLEAR, BUT THIS

  • OPERATION CONTINUED TO UNFOLD.

  • THE U.S. SPECIAL OPERATION

  • FORCES, THE MOST ELITE AMERICAN

  • TROOPS IN THE WORLD WERE ON THE

  • GROUND EXPLOITING AS THEY CALL

  • IT THIS SITE, GATHERING

  • INFORMATION.

  • APPARENTLY KILLING ABU BAKR AL

  • BAGHDADI AND THEN LEAVING AND

  • BLOWING UP THE COMPOUND.

  • >> RICHARD ENGEL IN NORTHERN

  • SYRIA FOR US.

  • LET ME CHECK IN WITH HALLIE

  • JACKSON AT THE WHITE HOUSE.

  • WE SAW PRESIDENT TRUMP LAST

  • NIGHT SEEMED TO TEASE THIS OUT

  • OF WHAT HAPPENED.

  • >> Reporter: YES.

  • >> WHEN DO WE KNOW WHEN THIS

  • RAID WAS GREEN-LIT BY THE

  • PRESIDENT?

  • >> Reporter: IN THE EVENING AT

  • SOME POINT AS THIS WAS GOING

  • DOWN.

  • WE UNDERSTAND FROM SOURCES THAT

  • PRESIDENT TRUMP PERSONALLY

  • APPROVED THIS OPERATION.

  • I'M TOLD A LOT OF WHITE HOUSE

  • AIDS HUDDLED IN THE EVENING

  • TELLING ME THIS MORNING THAT

  • PRESIDENT TRUMP AND A SMALL

  • GROUP OF HIS ADVISERS WERE IN

  • THE SITUATION ROOM MONITORING

  • DEVELOPMENTS WITH THIS

  • OPERATION.

  • THE PRESIDENT, OF COURSE, VERY

  • INVOLVED IN THIS.

  • WHAT IS A CRITICAL MOMENT FOR

  • HIM MOVING FORWARD.

  • WHEN YOU LOOK AT THIS, THE

  • PRESIDENT HAS REPEATEDLY TALKED

  • ABOUT WHAT HE DESCRIBES THE

  • DEFEAT OF ISIS AND SOMETHING

  • ALMOST A PART OF HIS CAMPAIGN

  • STUMP SPEECH, IF YOU WILL.

  • IT'S REFERENCED CONSTANTLY WHEN

  • THE PRESIDENT MAKES PUBLIC

  • REMARKS, BUT HE HAS TALKED MUCH

  • LESS, FAR FEWER TIMES ABOUT AL

  • BAGHDADI, HIMSELF.

  • THE PRESIDENT HAS MENTIONED THAT

  • BAGHDADI'S SHORT DETENTION IN

  • 2004 RATHER CRITICALLY.

  • THIS IS WHEN HIS PEOPLE ARE

  • CRITICIZING HIM.

  • WATCH THE PRESIDENT, BASED ON MY

  • REPORTING AND WHAT I'VE HEARD TO

  • TALK ABOUT HOW THIS IS

  • ESSENTIALLY PROOF POSITIVE THAT

  • HIS POSITION IS WORKING.

  • I DON'T KNOW IF WE WANT TO CALL

  • IT A VICTORY LAP BECAUSE I'M NOT

  • SURE HOW DEFINITIVE THERE BE

  • DECLARED THAT BAGHDADI HAS BEEN

  • KILLED BUT I THINK THE PRESIDENT

  • WILL USE THIS TO CONVINCE THE

  • AMERICAN PEOPLE HIS POSITION IS

  • CORRECT ON SYRIA, WHAT HE WANTS

  • TO DO IS WORKING IN A CAMPAIGN

  • TO DEFEAT ISIS.

  • IT'S CERTAINLY A COMMANDER IN

  • CHIEF MOMENT FOR HIM AND UNUSUAL

  • TIME AS YOU KNOW FOR A PRESIDENT

  • TO BE MAKING THESE KIND OF

  • PUBLIC REMARKS ON A SUNDAY

  • MORNING BUT, CLEARLY, THE

  • PRESIDENT AFTER THIS OPERATION

  • WENT DOWN, WE UNDERSTAND LATE

  • YESTERDAY HE WANTED TO BE THE

  • FIRST PUBLIC PRESIDENT TO TALK

  • ABOUT THIS, CHUCK.

  • >> HALLIE JACKSON AT THE WHITE

  • HOUSE, THANK YOU.

  • LET ME GO TO OUR CORRESPONDENT.

  • COURTNEY, HE TOOK CREDIT BUT

  • HANDED OUT A LOT OF CREDIT

  • SAYING THIS IS A FIVE-MONTH

  • OPERATION, IF YOU WILL, TO TRACK

  • AND LOCATE AL BAGHDADI?

  • >> Reporter: YEAH, THERE IS A

  • COUPLE OF PEOPLE IN DIFFERENT

  • NATIONS TAKING CREDIT FOR THIS

  • RIGHT NOW.

  • WHAT WE KNOW FROM THE U.S.

  • MILITARY SIDE IS THAT THESE

  • ELITE SPECIAL OPERATORS WHO WERE

  • A PART OF THIS MISSION ARRIVED

  • IN THE COUNTRY A LITTLE OVER A

  • WEEK AGO HERE IN THE REGION AND

  • THEY STARTED PLANNING, REFINING

  • THEIR PLANS FOR THIS MISSION.

  • THEY HAD RECEIVED SOME ACTABLE

  • INTELLIGENCE AND WANTED TO

  • REFINE IT BEFORE THEY WENT

  • FORWARD AND GOT THE APPROVAL AND

  • WENT FORWARD WITH THIS MISSION.

  • WE HAVE A LITTLE BIT MORE

  • DETAILS ABOUT EXACTLY WHAT

  • HAPPENED.

  • WE KNOW SOME OF THE FORCES

  • LAUNCHED FROM HERE IN IRBIL AND

  • FLEW INTO THE NORTHWESTERN BOARD

  • WITH TURKEY.

  • WHEN THE COMMANDOS LANDED ON THE

  • GROUND AND STARTED THIS RAID

  • THEY WERE MET WITH SOME

  • RESISTANCE.

  • ISIS DEPLOYING AT LEAST ONE CAR

  • OR VEHICLE BOMB TO TRY TO STOP

  • THE RAID WHICH WAS TAKEN OUT BY

  • A U.S. AIR STRIKE.

  • SO WE KNOW THAT THIS MISSION,

  • THIS RAID LASTED SEVERAL HOURS.

  • IT WAS AN EXTENDED PERIOD, BUT

  • MUCH OF THAT TIME WAS ACTUALLY

  • USED FOR THE SITE EXPLOITATION.

  • THAT IS THEM GOING IN AND TRYING

  • TO GATHER UP COMPUTERS, FILES,

  • ANYTHING THEY CAN GET.

  • WE ALSO KNOW THAT AS PART OF THE

  • EXPLOITATION, THEY WILL TRY TO

  • GET DNA OR ANY KIND OF FORENSIC

  • EVIDENCE THEY CAN ON THE TARGET,

  • IN THIS CASE, ABU BAKR AL

  • BAGHDADI, SO THAT WHEN WE GET TO

  • THE LATER STAGE WHEN THIS RAID

  • LIKE THIS BECOMES PUBLIC, THEY

  • CAN TALK TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

  • AND TO THE WORLD WITH MORE

  • CERTAINTY THAT, IN FACT,

  • BAGHDADI MAY BE THE PERSON WHO

  • WAS TARGETED AND KILLED IN THIS

  • OPERATION.

  • CHUCK?

  • >> COURTNEY IN IRBIL, IRAQ,

  • THANK YOU.

  • LET ME GO TO ANDREA MITCHELL.

  • I UNDERSTAND YOU'VE BEEN GETTING

  • WORD THAT THE PRESIDENT IS

  • MAKING PHONE CALLS TO SOME

  • AMERICANS WHO MIGHT BE HAPPY

  • THAT AL BAGHDADI IS DEAD?

  • >> THE FOLEYS IS THE FIRST

  • VICTIM, FIRST AMERICAN VICTIM OF

  • ISIS.

  • THE WHOLE PROFILE CASES WHERE

  • THE PRESIDENT WAS VERY GAUGED

  • REALLY IN INTENSIFYING WHAT WAS

  • DONE, HAS BEEN DONE ABOUT

  • HOSTAGES OF TERRORISTS.

  • THOSE FAMILIES WILL BE VERY MUCH

  • A PART OF THIS SPEECH, I

  • BELIEVE.

  • IN ADDITION, WE BELIEVE THAT

  • THEY ARE VERY, VERY CONFIDENT IN

  • THAT THEY HAVE GOT THE FORENSICS

  • FROM THE GROUND AND THAT WE WILL

  • HEAR A LOT MORE ABOUT THAT IN

  • THE SPEECH ABOUT BAGHDADI'S

  • IDENTIFICATION.

  • THE OTHER THING ABOUT THIS IS

  • THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN

  • MISSTATING FOR MANY MONTHS THAT

  • ISIS IS CONQUERED IN CONTRAST TO

  • INSPECTOR GENERAL'S REPORT FROM

  • THE PENTAGON, THEY DID GET RID

  • OF THE CALIPHATE, THE TERRITORY

  • BUT ISIS WAS RESURGENT ACCORDING

  • TO OWN INSPECTOR GENERAL AT THE

  • END OF JUNE.

  • RESURGENCE IN SYRIA AND IRAQ.

  • SO IT'S SIGNIFICANT THAT THIS,

  • AT LEAST IS SYMBOLIC VICTORY AND

  • BAGHDADI WAS GOING TO HAVE MORE

  • OF AN OPERATIONAL ROLE GIVEN

  • WHERE HE WAS FOUND AND THIS IS

  • CLEARLY A VICTORY ROUND FOR THE

  • PRESIDENT AND THEY ARE MAKING

  • THE MOST OF IT WITH THE SPEECH

  • THIS MORNING.

  • >> ANDREA MITCHELL, THANK YOU

  • VERY MUCH.