Not a coward?! WaPo columnist forced to explain he didn’t really mean ISIS leader died a hero, just wanted to prove Trump wrong

Not a coward?! WaPo columnist forced to explain he didn’t really mean ISIS leader died a hero, just wanted to prove Trump wrong Washington Post columnist Max Boot was forced to backtrack after offering a strange defense of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, arguing he did not die a “coward,” triggering a wave of mockery and outrage online.

One of President Trump’s loudest critics right of center, Boot has made a brand out of attacking the commander in chief at every opportunity. However, this week’s column presented Boot with a unique challenge: how to spin the news of the jihadi mastermind’s death into a jab at the president?

He found a way. Taking issue with President Trump’s description of Baghdadi as a “coward,” Boot shot back that the so-called Caliph’s death by explosive suicide – killing three of his own children in the process – itself proved his bravery. Apparently confident in that take, Boot even pulled the line from his column to post as a standalone tweet, but it soon provoked a torrent of ridicule from commenters online.

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“Max Boot defended the courage of ISIS terror boss Baghdadi in order to spite President Trump,” one commenter . “What a tragic, pathetic little man.”

Another user recalled Boot’s vocal support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq – not to mention every US invasion since – which blew open the floodgates of violence and extremism in the region, leading to the rise of the Islamic State and other violent jihadist groups.

Reacting to the backlash, Boot later decided to delete his ill-fated tweet and scrub the Baghdadi line from his column altogether, offering an explanatory tweet in their place suggesting his words were misinterpreted.

Unfortunately for the hawkish columnist, his sudden reversal did little to quell the outpouring of criticism, even if it did save his tweet from being “ratioed” any further with dozens of harsh replies.

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