Over the weekend Donald Trump announced that U.S. forces killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a raid. According to Trump, the dramatic operation that ended with al-Baghdadi detonating a suicide vest that killed him and three of his children, was like “watching a movie.”
“He died like a dog. He died like a coward,” Trump said about al-Baghdadi’s death during a press conference Sunday morning, adding that his demise was bigger than Osama bin Laden’s. But while his words went mostly unchecked during his announcement, those on Twitter were quick to point out discrepancies in the timeline Trump offered to reporters. Users were particularly skeptical of a situation room photo that many believe was staged.
On Sunday the White House released the photo of Trump, Vice President Pence, and others who were gathered to watch the events unfold on Saturday evening. Many thought the photo looked posed, especially in comparison to an Obama situation room photo that was released the evening 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was captured and killed. The discussion escalated when former White House photographer Pete Souza tweeted, “The raid, as reported, took place at 3:30PM Washington time. The photo, as shown in the camera IPTC data, was taken at “17:05:24”.
Since Souza’s tweet, a timeline of the events has been updated to reflect that the raid, in fact, took place after 6 p.m., but that has not stopped the American public from questioning everything from Trump’s account of the operation to the photo he released in its aftermath.
In August The Washington Post reported that Trump had lied 12,019 times during his 928 days in office. Whether or not he’s lying about al-Baghdadi has been unproven. But if Twitter is any indication of American’s level of trust for the Commander-in-Chief, it’s safe to say there is none.