Just before the annual turkey pardon on Monday, President Trump surprised White House reporters with a visit from Conan, the military working dog who was slightly injured in the raid that led to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's death.
"Conan came over from the Middle East, just arrived with some of the great people from the special forces. It was a flawless attack and al-Baghdadi is gone," Trump said with Conan at his side. "That was a flawless attack and I guess they got quite a few of them. We just gave him a medal and a plaque. And I actually think Conan knew exactly what was going on. But a dog that is very, very special."
Trump also met with some of the special forces members that took part in the raid, but, for operational security reasons, were unable to go out in front of the cameras.
"We spent some good time with it. So brilliant and so smart. The way it was with the special forces people that have worked with him, for obvious reasons they can’t be out in front of the media. But they did a fantastic job and Conan did a fantastic job. We are very honored to have Conan here," Trump continued.
The Pentagon released video from the raid shortly after it occurred. The video showed some ISIS fighters shot at the air transport the U.S. forces were taking, but were quickly killed. U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, Jr. said a group of civilians left al-Baghdadi's compound when the U.S. forces approached.
"The group was treated humanely at all times and included 11 children. I want to make it clear that despite the violent nature of the raid and the — and the high-profile nature of this assault, every effort was made to avoid civilian casualties and to protect the children that we suspected would be at the compound," McKenzie said.
After the raiders chased al-Baghdadi into a tunnel and trapped him, he detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and two of his children.