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President Donald Trump held an informal press conference on Monday where he introduced Conan, the hero dog that helped track down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and announced that he had given an award for his efforts.
“We just gave him a medal and a plaque,” Trump said. “I actually think Conan knew exactly what was going on — a dog that is very, very special. Maybe you can say something about the type of dog. They were going to put a muzzle on the dog and I thought that was a good idea … but the dog is incredible. Actually incredible. We spent some good time with it. So brilliant. So smart.”
“The dog is incredible,” Trump said. “We’re very honored to have Conan here and have given Conan a certificate and an award that we are going to put up in the White House.
“Conan is really a hero,” Vice President Mike Pence said. “It’s really a joy to be able to help welcome him here to the White House.”
President @realDonaldTrump introduces Conan, the ISIS killing Hero Dog to the world 🇺🇸
FULL PRESS CONFERENCE pic.twitter.com/VR0qDnrb18
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 25, 2019
Rough transcript of the press conference:
He came over from the Middle East and just arrived with some of the great people from the special forces. It was a flawless attack. And al-Baghdadi is gone. That was a flawless attack and I guess they got quite a few of them. We just gave him a metal and a plaque. I think Conan knew exactly what was going on. But a dog that is very, very special. Maybe you can say something about the type of dog. They were going to put a muzzle on the dog and I thought that was a good idea, but then again, even more violence, but the dog is incredible. 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 that can’t be out in front of the media. They did a fantastic job and conan did a fantastic job. We are very honored to have Conan here and to have given Conan a certificate and an award.
Vice President Pence:
It’s great to be here, Mr. President, I know you just finished meeting with some of the very same special forces who completed the successful raid and it took down the leader of ISIS. But as I recall Mr. President, you made the decision right there in the White House. And it has been described to us about the fact that they had dogs that could go in, in the event that al-Baghdadi had on an explosive vest. You put the premium on the safety of our special forces, and this dog was there. He suffered some injury. We were able to complete the raid without any American casualty. I think having the special forces here today, who … can’t come out in the public, but also having this extraordinary dog here today is a reflection of our armed forces and the great job that they do. Conan is really here and it’s a real joy to help bring him to the White House.
Conan was very badly hurt, as you know. They thought maybe he was not [going] to recover. Recovered very quickly and has since gone on very important raids. As you know, we captured 100% of the ISIS caliphate. When I took office, we had almost nothing, as though they were just forming again and now, it’s 100%. And since we have had that raid, certain important things have happened. We have really done a good job. You’ve all done such a good job and this is a special time for Conan. I was told about the breed and I was told about Conan himself. Conan is a tough cookie. And nobody is going to mess with him. I asked one question. I got to see how fast Conan can move. I said what chance would a strongman have, a really tough fighter, what chance with this person have against Conan? Without the guns? What chance? And I guess the answer pretty much was known that, he would have no chance. So that’s amazing. And you yet see how beautiful and calm they are in situations like this. You’re lucky he’s not in a bad mood today, Jeff. I want to thank you all, thank you very much and it’s a great honor to have Conan here and a great honor to have the special forces here. Conan is not retiring yet, Conan is primetime. I asked them, about six years like an athlete. They start, they like to get them at one and a half or two years old and they go for about six years from that time. After that, it happens where it may the reflexes aren’t quite as good, you know, things like that happen. The dog’s prime time is six years after two, and they are very special dogs. They are very hard to get, this particular dog. This is the ultimate fighter, the ultimate everything. Ultimate in terms of sniffing drugs. We have — we spent a tremendous amount of money on drug equipment at the border. And so to the people I said, is there anything better than this equipment? No, sir. The only thing better is a dog, this type of dog. Because it’s a certain type of dog. It’s pretty amazing. We had a case where we had drugs in the cylinder of a car and it was undetectable by this very expensive machinery which is very amazing machinery but it was undetectable. The dog came in, jumped on the hood, pointing. It opened the hood and it knew exactly. It’s incredible, sense of smell or whatever it may be. They are incredible animals. Thank you all very much.
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