President Trump on Monday defended his attacks of retired Navy Adm. William McRaven, the former Navy SEAL who oversaw the operation that killed Osama bin Laden, repeating his belief that al-Qaeda leader should have been killed sooner.
“Of course we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did,” Trump tweeted.
“I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center. President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars & they never told us he was living there,” Trump wrote, repeating his dubious claim that he called for taking out bin Laden in his 2000 book.
Here’s the lone reference to bin Laden in Trump’s book:
Trump, “The America We Deserve,” January 2000: One day we’re told that a shadowy figure with no fixed address named Osama bin-Laden is public enemy number one, and U.S. jetfighters lay waste to his camp in Afghanistan. He escapes back under some rock, and a few news cycles later it’s on to a new enemy and new crisis.
Trump also accused Pakistan of dropping the ball on finding the 9/11 mastermind despite billions in U.S. aid.
“Fools!” the president wrote.
The president also threatened to cut off support for the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan.
“We no longer pay Pakistan the $Billions because they would take our money and do nothing for us, Bin Laden being a prime example, Afghanistan being another,” the president wrote in a subsequent tweet. “They were just one of many countries that take from the United States without giving anything in return. That’s ENDING!”
Of course we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did. I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center. President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars & they never told us he was living there. Fools!..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2018
Trump derided McRaven as a “Hillary Clinton fan” and an “Obama backer” who should have gotten to bin Laden faster during an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”
“Wouldn’t it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that, wouldn’t it have been nice?” Trump said.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) on Monday praised McRaven, saying his political views were irrelevant to his legacy.
“I don’t know if Adm. William McRaven shares my political views or not. But I do know that few Americans have sacrificed or risked more than he has to protect America & the freedoms we enjoy,” Rubio tweeted. “His military career exemplified honor & excellence. I am grateful for his service.”
Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling called Trump’s attacks “disgusting.”
“I’d use one word,” Hertling said. “And that’s ‘disgusting.’ You know, everyone knows Bill McRaven as being the guy that led the bin Laden raid.”
“Having someone like the president of the United States, a man that holds an office that’s supposed to represent all people and who says he supports the military, to just dismiss this great American hero as a guy who was a Hillary Clinton lover, which is patently not true, is just really disgusting,” he explained.