Trump Just Lashed Out at a Former Navy SEAL for Not Catching Osama Bin Laden Sooner

The president slammed his critic as a “Hillary Clinton backer.”

President Donald Trump speaks during a Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony White House Friday.Cheriss May/NurPhoto via ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

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:

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.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate