Donald Trump presents Medal of Honor to Green Beret who faced hail of bullets and shielded wounded comrades in Afghanistan – then compares it to the raid that took out al-Baghdadi in Syria
- The president presented the Medal of Honor to Master Sgt. Matthew O. Williams of Texas
- He helped rescue four critically wounded soldiers during an operation to take out terror target in Afghanistan
- Came under attack by 200 enemy insurgents on mission against ‘high-value target’ at 10,000 feet elevation
- Trump compared it to the successful operation to get Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria
- Earlier Wednesday Trump attacked the Army Lt. Colenel who testified about his discomfort with Trump’s call to the president of Ukraine
President Donald Trump saluted the bravery and courage under fire of Army Master Sgt. Matthew O. Williams at a White House Medal of Honor ceremony Wednesday where he described his efforts to protect his comrades during a special forces mission in Afghanistan.
Trump called Williams ‘one of the bravest soldiers and people I’ve ever met’ as he described his 2008 mission during the battle of Shok Valley during the Afghan war.
While awarding the nation’s highest military honor, Trump compared the mission to last week’s effort to take out ISIS terror leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The president described the mission Williams and his team undertook to try to take out a terror leader in a remote mountain village. ‘Sounded simple. Not simple,’ Trump said.
President Donald Trump presents the Medal of Honor to Army Master Sgt. Matthew Williams, of Boerne, Texas October 30, 2019 at the White House in Washington, DC. Williams received the nation’s highest military honor for heroic actions while serving in Afghanistan’s Shok Valley in 2008
After being deposited by Chinook helicopters, Williams and fellow Green Berets encountered roughly 200 insurgents who ‘savagely attacked and it was a big surprise. Very unwelcome surprise I might add,’ the president said. The soldiers were backed up against a 100-foot cliff.
Williams helped rescue four critically wounded soldiers during an operation to take out terror target in Afghanistan.
‘He ran down the mountain to get support and then climbed back up with bullets spraying all around. Not a good place to be,’ Trump continued.
After organizing a counter-assault, Williams ‘then helped evacuate the wounded down a very, very steep cliff,’ the president said, ‘putting his own life in great peril to save his comrades.’
Trump at two points likened the mission to the successful effort to take out ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria.
Trump described Williams’ efforts to protect his comrades under a hail of gunfire
Williams and his detachment of Green Berets were seeking a high-value target in Afghanistan’s Shok Valley
The president compared the mission to the successful effort to take down ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Earlier Wednesday Trump attacked Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who provided testimony to the House about his call to the president of Ukraine as part of an impeachment inquiry
After hailing the capabilities of the U.S. military forces, Trump said: ‘We showed that a few days ago. These guys didn’t know what the hell hit them.’
‘It’s not for me,’ Williams told a group of reporters outside the White House after the ceremony, speaking of the military citation. He says the full complement of his detachment are ‘the real reason I’m standing here today.’
‘As a team, we trusted one another, we fought hard together, believed in one another, and that’s really why we all were able to come home,’ he said, in brief comments where he did not take questions.
Hours earlier, he had tweeted out an image of the military dog who helped chase down the ISIS leader during the raid getting a medal of her own.
Trump’s words lauding military heroism at the ceremony came hours after he once again attacked the Army Lt. Colonel who testified that a transcript of Trump’s call with the president of Ukraine omitted key information.
The president called national security staffer Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified in the House Tuesday, a ‘Never Trumper’ – a term he has used to attack political opponents from within the Republican Party. The president in a tweet branded ‘Never Trumper Republicans’ as ‘human scum.’
Williams was a weapons sergeant with Operational Detachment Alpha 3336, Special Operations Task Force 11 during the mission.
According to Army Times, they were seeking a high value target aligned with the Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin. The target, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, now runs an Afghan political party following a peace deal.
Two Texas Republican senators, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, were there, as was North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, who is up for reelection.