President Donald Trump was effusive in his praise for the U.S. military moments after it dropped the “mother of all bombs” on an Islamic State target in Afghanistan on Thursday.
“We’re very, very proud of our military,” the president said in the Roosevelt Room in the White House. “Just like we’re proud of the folks in this room. We are so proud of our military and it was another successful event.”
According to Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump, the military’s largest non-nuclear bomb “was dropped on a cave complex believed to be used by IS fighters in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, very close to the border with Pakistan.”
Trump described the dropping of the MOAB as “another successful job.”
Asked if he had authorized the action, Trump said that “everybody knows what happened — what I do is I authorize my military. We have the greatest military in the world and they’ve done their job as usual, so we have given them total authorization. That’s what they’re doing. Frankly, that’s why they’ve been so successful lately. If you look at what’s been happening over the last eight weeks and compare that with really what’s happened the last eight years, you’ll see there’s a tremendous difference.”
“We have incredible leaders in the military and we have an incredible military,” Trump continued. “We’re very proud of them and this was another very, very successful mission.”
The president dismissed a reporter’s suggestion that the bomb was meant to send a message to North Korea.
“I don’t know if this sends a message,” he said. “It doesn’t make any difference whether it does or not. North Korea is a problem, the problem will be taken care of.”
Trump was also effusive in his praise for Chinese President Xi Jinping. “China has really been working very hard. I have really gotten to like and respect President Xi. He’s a terrific person, we spent a lot of time together in Florida and he’s a very special man, so we’ll see how it goes. I think he’s going to try very hard,” Trump said.
Yesterday, China issued a blunt warning to North Korea:
“Not only [is] Washington brimming with confidence and arrogance following the missile attacks on Syria, but Trump is also willing to be regarded as a man who honors his promises,” said the People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s official paper.
North Korea should halt any plans for nuclear and missile tests “for its own security,” the newspaper said, making it clear that the US would not “co-exist” with a nuclear-armed Pyongyang.