The Awkward Mistake Donald Trump Made While Honouring Hero Dog
While the Trumps may not want a dog of their own at the White House, they honoured a very special canine on Monday.
Conan the dog worked alongside special US forces during the raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria in October.
President Donald Trump presented Conan to the public with Vice President Mike Pence and First Lady Melania at a media conference in the Rose Garden.
Trump said a special ceremony was held for Conan where the dog was given a special award.
"I actually think that Conan knew exactly what was going on," Trump said at the media conference on Monday.
"We are very honoured to have Conan here and to have given Conan a certificate and an award that we are going to put up in the White House."
Trump called Conan "incredible", "so brilliant, so smart" and "very, very special".
"I was told about Conan himself and Conan is a tough cookie and nobody is going to mess with Conan," Trump said as he continued to sing the dog's praises.
Throughout the conference, Trump repeatedly refereed to Conan as 'he', but a White House official later told reporters Conan is in fact female.
But then, just hours after the conference, the White House back flipped once more on Conan's gender, saying the dog is male.
"A White House official now tells me that Conan is actually a male dog, after we were told earlier today that Conan is a female dog. Working for more clarity on the matter," CBS' White House reporter Kathryn Watson tweeted.
Official pool reports from the scene -- written by a 'pool journalist' who provides generic information for the wider group -- also had trouble keeping up with whether Conan was a 'good boy' or a 'good girl', ending up opting for the gender-neutral phrase 'good dog'.
Conan, a Belgian Malinois, was sent into a tunnel to subdue al-Baghdadi during the US raid on the leader's compound. The ISIS leader detonated a suicide vest killing himself and three of his children. As a result, Conan was badly injured.
Conan's identity has been kept secret until now but Trump confirmed that the dog will not be retiring from service just yet.
"This is the ultimate fighter, ultimate everything ...Conan is not retiring yet. Conan's prime time, age-wise prime time," Trump said
The Trump's decision not to own a pet dog at the White House is unusual among US presidents, with most other presidents having a furry friend while in office. Reporters were keen to know if the Trumps might change their minds after meeting a dog the calibre of Conan.
One reporter asked Melania if she'd like to adopt Conan for their teenager son Barron.
"No," Melania replied with a smile.
Contact Siobhan at email@example.com