There are a few scenes from the Trump presidency which belong in the pantheon of great American political imagery. There is of course Kanye West donning Trump’s trademark red MAGA hat for an Oval Office meeting. There is President Trump posing delightfully in front of a long dining table with every kind of fast food imaginable, like a presidential Willy Wonka, as he welcomes the Clemson Tigers football team with their Golden Tickets.
And today, the American public and the world were (finally) introduced to Conan, the United States special forces Belgian Malinois credited with chasing down Isis mastermind Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, outside the White House. Baghdadi, you’ll remember, very much went out like a bad dog; detonating a suicide vest and taking with him two children in the US special forces raid exactly one month ago. Conan saw to that.
Conan’s legend only grew as the president’s social media team zeroed in on tweets and Facebook posts about the status of the hero pup, shortly after posting a photo of the national hero to his personal Twitter feed, which included memes of a medal of honor ceremony for the dog. (These images of Conan were of course debunked and declared ‘doctored’ photos by our even more dogged and heroic press.)
During the presser, you could almost hear CNN reporter Jim Acosta shouting questions at Conan from the Rose Garden press conference about impeachment. He must have wanted to know if Conan had read the plaque at the bottom of the Statue of Liberty. Due to Conan’s incredible sense of hearing, there is even word Rep. Adam Schiff may subpoena Conan for any information he might have overheard in the president’s phone calls with foreign leaders and political opponents.
The introduction ceremony was a surprise, and as the press was gathered in the Rose Garden, a White House aide simply told them to ‘wait and see’ as there would be an animal. The hacks were told to remain calm. It could have been any animal really — a man-eating tiger, or a Rancor, who was to know?
Conan was presented to the White House Press Corps by the president and first lady, along with Vice President Pence and Conan’s military handler. But in this golden age of fact-checked, firefighting journalism, no presser would slip by unchallenged. The can be no feel good moments when there may be alternative facts involved. CNN reporter Caitlyn Bennett noted that while the president referred to Conan as a vicious terrorist killing machine, the dog was in reality quite passive and had even allowed Vice President Pence to pet him. Add that to the articles of impeachment I guess.
CNN contributor Joan Walsh called the event ‘terrifying’ on Twitter while also noting the first lady’s coat was ‘macabre’. She also tweeted: ‘Trump tells you how incredible “this particular type of dog” is, repeatedly, but he clearly can’t remember the name of the breed or other details. He tells us he really wanted the dog to be muzzled, which tells you about his fear’ while also noting ‘Trump repeatedly “jokes” about siccing the dog on journalists’. This would seem like an odd thing for members of the media to freak out about, unless they are in fact terrorists. Are they?
One thing we can now expect, of course, is that CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter will have to add ‘— Lover of Special Forces Terrorist Killing Hero Dog’ to his list of bullet points you must believe in order to be a loyal supporter of the president.
Stephen L. Miller is a writer in New York. He has been a Fox News contributor and writing credits include Heat Street and National Review. He is currently the host of the Versus Media podcast on Patreon.