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WH Press Secretary Explains Details of Yemen Raid

At the daily press briefing Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer laid out the planning process of a Yemen raid that left one American Navy SEAL dead.

Spicer described the steps as follows:

  1. “On December 19 the plan was approved by the Department of Defense and recommened that it be moved ahead. It was sent then to the National Security Council staff.”
  2. “On January 6th, there was an inter-agency deputies meeting. The deputies recommened at that time that they go ahead. It was so easily approved it was sent straight up. The conclusion was at that time was to hold for a moonless night, which by calendar wouldn’t occur until then President-elect Trump was President Trump.”
  3. “On January 24th, shortly after taking office, Secretary of Defense, then Mattis read the memo, re-sent it back up to the White House, conveying his support.”
  4. “On the 25th of January, the President was briefed by General Flynn on Secretary Mattis’ recommendation and the status of the potential operation. The President asked to see Secretary Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Dunford on that evening, had a dinner meeting, which included the President, the Vice President, Secretary Mattis, Chairman Dunford, Chief of Staff Preibus, Jared Kushner, Chief Strategist [Steve] Bannon, General Kellogg, General Flynn, and CIA Director Pompeo where the operation was laid out in great extent.”
  5. “On Friday, the 26th, [in] the morning, the deputies committee met again. It was not a necessary step because they previously recommended and also reaffirmed their support for that.”
  6. “On January 26th, the President signed the memo authorizing the action.”

Questions have arisen about operational planning after the weekend raid.