Trump Falsely Claims That He Predicted Bin Laden Threat Before 9/11

“Fools!”

Jim Loscalzo/ZUMA

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Fresh off his remarks deriding the former Navy SEAL who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, President Donald Trump on Monday claimed that he had predicted the national security threat posed by the Al Qaeda leader in a book published one year before the 9/11 attacks.

This isn’t the first time Trump has falsely claimed to have foreseen Bin Laden’s rise. As Mother Jones explained back when he first made the assertion on the campaign trail, Trump’s 2000 book, The America We Deserve, did not include such astute observations. Bin Laden is mentioned once in passing in the book, and the brief paragraph merely references the fact that Bin Laden had already been labeled “public enemy number one.” 

The president on Monday also repeated his insistence that Bin Laden should have been captured sooner and criticized former President Bill Clinton for “famously” missing his chance to take out the Al Qaeda leader in a 1998 bombing raid. 

The tweets come on the heels of Trump’s attacks against William McRaven, the retired four-star admiral and onetime Navy SEAL who oversaw the 2011 raid that killed Bin Laden. McRaven has been critical of Trump, writing in a scathing Washington Post op-ed this summer that Trump has “embarrassed us in the eyes of children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.” During an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace that aired Sunday, Trump dismissed McRaven as a “Hillary Clinton fan” and an “Obama backer.”  

“I did not back Hillary Clinton or anyone else,” McRaven said in a statement responding to Trump’s remarks. “I am a fan of President Obama and President George W. Bush, both of whom I worked for.”

“I stand by my comment that the President’s attack on the media is the greatest threat to our democracy in my lifetime.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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