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

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

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.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend