The United States dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan, known as the “Massive Ordnance Air Blast” or the “Mother of All Bombs,” on Thursday. This is the first-ever combat use of the bomb, which weighs 21,000 pounds. But the White House won’t confirm if the president even knew of the bombing, let alone authorized it.
CNN first reported the bombing in Nangarhar, a province in the east of Afghanistan, bordering Pakistan. Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump told CNN that the giant bomb was “dropped by an MC-130 aircraft, stationed in Afghanistan and operated by Air Force Special Operations Command.”
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed the CNN report on Thursday afternoon, claiming in a press conference that the U.S. military “targeted a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters used to move around freely.” He did not give more details about the bombing — including whether the president authorized it.
As Spicer was wrapping up the press conference, a reporter asked him whether Trump authorized the bombing, but Spicer left without answering the question.
“Very quickly, did the president not know about the MOAB strike?” a reporter asked. Spicer then turned and walked away.
“Can I take your answer to mean he didn’t authorize it?” another asked. Spicer still didn’t answer.