Donald Trump honors Conan

A Meme Come True: Watch President Trump Honor Conan the Hero Dog in White House Ceremony

President Donald Trump on Monday honored an Army dog’s heroics in the raid that killed the leader of the Islamic State. 

Bringing to life a meme that went viral following the Oct. 26-27 special forces operation on the Syrian compound of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Trump awarded Conan a medal and a plaque in a White House ceremony. Then, the president delivered unscripted remarks to the press.

“I actually think Conan knew exactly what was going on,” he said, giving Conan a presidential petting. “But a dog that is very, very special.”

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“They were going to put a muzzle on the dog, and I thought that was a good idea. But then it gets even more violent,” Trump joked.

“But no, the dog is incredible, actually incredible. We spent some good time with it, and so brilliant, so smart. The way it was with the special forces people it works with, and for obvious reasons, they can’t be out in front of the media, but they did a fantastic job. Conan did a fantastic job. And we’re very honored to have Conan here.”

Following comments by Vice President Mike Pence, Trump shared some tidbits from his briefing on Conan, who is a highly trained Belgian Malinois.

“Conan is a tough cookie, and nobody’s going to mess with Conan,” he said. “I got to see how fast Conan can move. I said what chance would a strong man have — really strong, tough, fighter — what chance would this person have against Conan without the guns? What chance? And I guess the answer is pretty much none. He would have no chance.”

“You’re very lucky he’s not in a bad mood,” Trump added, appearing to point at a member of the media.

Trump and Conan the hero dog

Trump’s most diehard critics have long faulted him for allegedly not liking dogs. They have cited as evidence his lack of a family pet and his use of canine-themed insults, including during the Oct. 27 White House address announcing Baghdadi’s death.

“He died like a dog,” Trump said of the terrorist. “He died like a coward.”

However, the president repeatedly credited the real-life dogs who helped U.S. troops pull off the raid. He said they had “chased down” Baghdadi, forcing him to detonate a suicide vest. While no U.S. personnel were wounded, Trump said, one “beautiful” and “talented” service dog had been injured.

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The day after the briefing, Trump tweeted a declassified picture he said was of the “wonderful” dog that did “such a GREAT JOB” in Saturday’s mission. It was only on Wednesday that he revealed the dog’s name is Conan.

Citing a senior Pentagon source, Newsweek reported that Conan was named after talk show host Conan O’Brien. The dog was hurt after being exposed to live electrical cables but has returned to active duty, according to the Pentagon.

Trump later tweeted the now-famous meme of himself awarding Conan the Presidential Medal of Honor, which triggered liberal outrage and media fact-checks of the authenticity of the image.

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