Colin Kahl, a national security official in the Obama administration, disputed Spicer’s description of the planning Thursday evening. Kahl, in tweets shared hundreds of times, said that the Defense Department worked up a general proposal that asked for the authorities to do raids in Yemen, but that the mission carried out Saturday was not specifically a part of that. Obama did not make any decisions because he thought it represented an expansion of the war in Yemen and believed the Trump administration should assess how to proceed, Kahl said.
“In a nutshell, Trump and his team owns the process and the ultimate decision — and the consequences,” Kahl tweeted.
Davis declined Thursday to say when the plan for the raid was recommended to the White House. But another defense official said Kahl’s understanding of events is wrong.
“The raid had been planned several months and was given full consideration by the previous administration,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.