President Donald Trump criticized the former admiral in charge of the fatal Osama bin Laden raid, saying the military should have killed the 9/11 mastermind much earlier than they did.
The president said it would have been ‘nice’ if the seals had killed bin Laden sooner instead of letting him live in a ‘nice’ mansion in Pakistan.
‘Wouldn’t it have been nice if we got Osama Bin Laden a lot sooner than that, wouldn’t it have been nice?,’ the president said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’
President Donald Trump criticized U.S. Navy Seals on Sunday for not killing 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden much earlier than they did
The president complained bin Laden got to live in a nice mansion in Pakistan
‘You know, living – think of this – living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan in what I guess they considered a nice mansion, I don’t know, I’ve seen nicer. 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.’
Fox News host Chris Wallace asked if he’d give the seals credit for taking out the terrorist leader.
‘They took him down,’ Trump said and added: ‘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.’
Bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 2, 2011, by U.S. special forces.
He had reportedly been living in the fortified compound less than a mile from Pakistan’s Military Academy for years, raising questions on whether or not Pakistani officials had any knowledge of his where abouts. Pakistan denied any knowledge he was there.
Bin Laden reportedly didn’t use the internet or cell phones in a bid to keep his presence a secret.
The president also criticized retired Navy Admiral Bill McRaven, who headed the Seals unit, as a Hillary Clinton fan.
The criticism came up when Wallace has pressed Trump on whether his harsh rhetoric on the media was hurting the country and the Fox News host pointed out that people like McRaven ‘says that your sentiment is the greatest threat to democracy in his lifetime.’
‘Hillary Clinton fan,’ Trump said of the retired admiral. ‘Excuse me, Hillary Clinton fan.’
The president added: ‘He’s a Hilary Clinton, uh, backer and an Obama-backer.’
Wallace had been pressing Trump on his feud with various media outlets. The president has been a frequent critic of CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times and others – calling them ‘fake media.’
‘Sir, leaders in authoritarian countries like Russia, China, Venezuela, now repress the media using your words,’ Wallace said.
‘I can’t talk for other people, I can only talk for me,’ Trump replied.
President Trump criticized Admiral McRaven as a Clinton supporter
Retired Admiral Bill McRaven did not endorse in the 2016 presidential race
‘But you’re seen around the world as a beacon for repression,’ Wallace said.
‘The news about me is largely phony,’ Trump said in response. ‘It’s false. Even sometimes they’ll say, uh, ‘Sources say.’ There is no source, in many cases.’
Wallace noted at the end of the pre-taped interview that McRaven has not endorsed in any presidential race.
In response to Trump’s remarks, McRaven told CNN: ‘I did not back Hillary Clinton or anyone else.
‘I am a fan of President Obama and President George W. Bush, both of whom I worked for. I admire all presidents, regardless of their political party, who uphold the dignity of the office and who use that office to bring the nation together in challenging times. I stand by my comment that the President’s attack on the media is the greatest threat to our democracy in my lifetime.
‘When you undermine the people’s right to a free press and freedom of speech and expression, then you threaten the Constitution and all for which it stands.’
McRaven wrote in a Washington Post op-ed in August that Trump has ’embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.’