Report: Trump asked CIA why it waited for a target to walk away from his family before striking

  • President Donald Trump reportedly questioned why the CIA had waited for a drone strike target to walk away from his family before killing him.

  • Trump had previously advocated taking out the families of terrorists during his presidential campaign.

  • He has also spoken in favor of using large-scale military power to target enemies in Syria and Afghanistan.

President Donald Trump was reportedly unhappy with the CIA's apparent desire to minimize civilian casualties when carrying out drone strikes, according to a Washington Post source who was in a meeting with Trump and agency officials.

On his first full day in office in January 2017, the CIA was reportedly showing Trump a recording of a previous drone strike in which operators had waited to strike at the target until he wandered away from his home, which had his family inside. But Trump questioned the move, according to The Washington Post's source.

“Why did you wait?” the person at the meeting recalled Trump saying.

Trump was also reportedly not impressed by new CIA military capabilities that allowed them to limit civilian casualties, sources noted. He commanded the CIA to begin arming its drones in Syria, where the agency had largely been flying surveillance missions and leaving strikes up to the US military.

This wasn't the first time Trump had expressed a disregard for civilian deaths in war zones — on the campaign trail in December 2015, Trump expressed a similar sentiment on "Fox & Friends."

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"We're fighting a very politically correct war," Trump said. "When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don't kid yourself."

Trump has advocated the use of overwhelming force against terrorist groups like ISIS in Iraq and Syria and elsewhere.

In April 2017, Trump gave the Pentagon a free hand to use the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB), the largest non-nuclear bomb in the US arsenal, to strike at a cave complex inhabited by ISIS fighters in Afghanistan.

"We have given them total authorization and that's what they're doing and frankly that's why they've been so successful lately," the president said at the time. "If you look at what's happened over the last eight weeks and compare that really to what's happened over the past eight years, you'll see there's a tremendous difference, tremendous difference."

The explosion produced a mushroom cloud five miles high, and was visible for miles around.

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