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Trump Blasts Retired Navy SEAL Critical Of Him, Suggesting He Should’ve Caught Bin Laden Sooner

Posted at 3:50 PM, Nov 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-18 15:50:40-05

Image: William McRaven

Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call,Inc.

WASHINGTON (NBC NEWS) – President Donald Trump went after retired Adm. Bill McRaven — the Navy SEAL who led the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden — calling him a “Hillary Clinton fan” during an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” The president made the comments after Wallace asked him about McRaven’s criticism of Trump’s attacks on the press.

McRaven, who did not make an endorsement in the 2016 presidential election, called Trump’s lambasting of the news media possibly “the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime” during a speech at the University of Texas last year. A four-star admiral who retired from the Navy in 2014, McRaven also authored an August op-ed calling on Trump to revoke his security clearance after the president pulled former CIA Director John Brennan’s clearance.

“Hillary Clinton fan,” Trump told Wallace Sunday when confronted with the retired admiral’s criticism. “Excuse me, Hillary Clinton fan.”

“OK, he’s a Hilary Clinton backer and an Obama-backer,” Trump added before Wallace said McRaven was a Navy SEAL for nearly four decades.

Trump, pointing to the bin Laden raid, added, “wouldn’t it have been nice if we got Osama Bin Laden a lot sooner than that, wouldn’t it have been nice?”

“Living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan in what I guess they considered a nice mansion, I don’t know, I’ve seen nicer,” he continued. “But living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there. And we give Pakistan $1.3 billion a year and they don’t tell him, they don’t tell him … for years.”

Wallace asked if Trump would give credit for “taking down bin Laden.”

“They took him down but — look, look, there’s news right there, he lived in Pakistan, we’re supporting Pakistan, we’re giving them $1.3 billion a year, which we don’t give them anymore, by the way, I ended it because they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us,” Trump said.

Soon after publicly rebuking the president in the August op-ed, McRaven, who led the U.S Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014, resigned from the Pentagon’s technology advisory board.