President Donald Trump dismissed criticism from the retired four-star admiral and former Navy SEAL who led the raid that took out Osama bin Laden in 2011 in a new interview on “Fox News Sunday.” And he did so in a typically Trump fashion: by attacking him. “Wouldn’t it have been nice if we had gotten Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that?” Trump said.
Trump lashed out at the decorated admiral, William McRaven, after Fox’s Chris Wallace noted McRaven’s criticisms of Trump’s anti-press rhetoric, shortly after the president took office in 2017. “We must challenge this statement and this sentiment that the news media is the enemy of the American people,” McRaven said at the time. “This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.”
Wallace raised McRaven’s comments in a televised back-and-forth with Trump who, nearly two years later, has only increased his antagonism towards the press. In response, Trump dismissed McRaven as a “Hillary Clinton backer and an Obama backer.” Then he went for the gut-punch by attacking McRaven’s military accomplishments. Watch below:
Holy shit — Trump dismisses a Navy SEAL who has been critical of him as "a Hillary Clinton fan & Obama backer" & criticizes Navy SEALs for not taking out bin Laden *sooner.*
"Frankly, wouldn't it have been nice if we had gotten Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that?"
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 18, 2018
McRaven continued to criticize Trump after his comments in 2017. In August, when Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, McRaven wrote a blistering open letter to Trump in the Washington Post in which he accused the president of using “McCarthy-era tactics” to “suppress the voices of criticism.” A few days later, he resigned from a Pentagon technology advisory board.
Also in the Fox News interview that aired Sunday morning, Trump denied knowing about Matt Whitaker’s anti-Mueller comments before promoting him to Acting Attorney General. Read more about that here.