Conan, the hero dog that helped chase down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a military raid in Syria last month, was feted at the White House Monday afternoon during a surprise ceremony with President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and First Lady Melania Trump. The celebrated canine led U.S. Special Forces down a tunnel where they cornered the “whimpering and crying” terror leader who then ignited his vest, killing himself and his three children.
The president, along with the vice president, first lady, Conan, and his handler appeared at a press conference outside the White House to talk about Conan’s heroic deeds.
Conan, a German Shepard who was reportedly named after talk show host Conan O’Brien, was injured during the mission, but recovered quickly so that he was able to participate in subsequent raids, Trump told reporters.
The president warned the media to be on their best behavior around “this particular dog.”
“It’s trained that if you open your mouths you will be attacked,” Trump said. “You want to be very, very careful.”
President Trump brings out Conan the Special Forces dog from the al Baghdadi raid. President Trump says Conan is trained to attack if you open your mouth – and warns the press to be careful. pic.twitter.com/zzLyQFOjbY
— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) November 25, 2019
Trump described Conan as “special” animal who helped execute a “flawless attack” on the deceased ISIS kingpin.
“Conan came over from the Middle East—just arrived with some of the great people from the special forces that did the—it was a flawless attack,” the president said. “And al-Baghdadi is gone. That was a flawless attack and I just met quite a few of them. And we just gave Conan a medal and a plaque.” The president went on to say that the Conan’s awards would be on display at the White House.
Trump provided some details about the ceremony that took place inside the White House. “And I actually think Conan knew exactly what was going on,” he said. “The dog is incredible… We spent some good time with it. And so brilliant — so smart.”
The president hailed the special forces who tracked down al-Baghdadi, saying that they and Conan “did a fantastic job.”
“We’re very honored to have Conan here,” he added.
The president noted that before the press conference they had discussed putting a muzzle on the hero dog.
“I thought that was a good idea but then it gets even more violent, John,” said Trump, addressing one of the reporters.
“Conan is a tough cookie,” the president later noted. He explained to the reporters that any tough fighter facing off with Conan “would have no chance” of survival as long as he was unarmed.
“And yet you see how beautiful and how calm during a situation like this he is,” said Trump. “You’re very lucky he’s not in a bad mood today, Jeff,” the president added. “He’s not in a bad mood, you’re safe.”
In which the president of the United States tells this reporter (me) it’s a good thing this military dog is not in a bad mood today. pic.twitter.com/4MtlxpmNUn
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) November 25, 2019
When asked if the hero dog would be retiring, the president answered, “no, Conan’s not retiring yet. Conan’s prime time age-wise. Prime time.”
As the the group were walking back towards the White House, a reporter asked the first lady if she had any interest in adopting Conan as a pet for her son Baron. Melania Trump laughed before replying, “no.”