President Donald Trump on Thursday refused to say whether he personally authorised dropping the “mother of all bombs” on an ISIS target in Afghanistan, but said he was “very, very proud” of the military’s “successful job.”
The Pentagon announced Thursday that the US dropped the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, also known as the “Mother of All Bombs” or “MOAB,” on an ISIS target in a remote part of far northeast Afghanistan. It is the largest non-nuclear bomb in the US military’s inventory.
Trump and the White House dodged questions from reporters on Thursday about whether Trump himself authorised the decision to drop the bomb.
“Everybody knows exactly what happens, so, and what I do is I authorise my military,” Trump said. “We have the greatest military in the world, and they have done a job as usual, so we have given them total authorization. And that’s what they’re doing. And frankly, that’s why they have been so successful lately.”
Trump also compared his military successes to those of his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.
“If you look at what’s happened over the last eight weeks and compare that, really, to what’s happened over the last eight years, you’ll see there’s a tremendous difference. Tremendous difference,” he said. “So we have incredible leaders in the military and we have incredible military and we are very proud of them. And this was another very, very successful mission.”
Trump also deflected a question on whether the use of this bomb sends a message to North Korea, a country Trump has been trying to reign in since he became president. He discussed the issue of North Korea with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his recent visit to Trump’s resort in Florida.
“I don’t know if this sends a message, it doesn’t make any difference if it does or not,” Trump said. “North Korea is a problem, the problem will be taken care of. I will say this: I think China has really been working very hard. I have really gotten to like and respect, as you know, President Xi, he’s a terrific person, we spent a lot of time together in Florida, and he’s a very special man. I think he’s going to try very hard.”
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