Defense Secretary Mark Esper said President Trump approved the raid on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi this past week with the objective of capturing him or if necessary, killing him.
"The President approved a raid on the target, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and if we didn't capture him, of course, we were going to kill him," Esper said in a pre-taped interview with CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper.
Esper said soldiers tried to get al-Baghdadi to surrender but he killed himself instead, as the President said.
"We tried to call him out and asked him to surrender himself. He refused. He went down to a subterranean area and in the process of trying to get him out, he detonated a suicide vest, we believe, and killed himself."
According to Esper, US officials presented the President with options this past week.
"The President was taken options this week (he meant last week). He reviewed them, asked some great questions, chose the option that we thought gave us the highest probability of success and confirmation that the head of ISIS would be there and either captured or killed," Esper said
Esper also said there were two minor US injuries to soldiers in the operation. Trump had only indicated a US K-9 was injured.
"We had two minor casualties, two minor injuries, to our soldiers," Esper said. "They've already returned to duty."