WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has ignited a firestorm of criticism and charges that he is politicizing the military by faulting a war hero for not capturing al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden sooner.
Former CIA director Leon Panetta said Trump owed an apology to retired Adm. William McRaven, who had said Trump’s assertion that the news media was the “enemy of the people” was “the greatest threat to democracy” in his lifetime.
Trump lashed out at McRaven in a Fox News interview broadcast Sunday, dismissing him as a “backer” of Trump’s 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton. McRaven had organized and executed the bin Laden raid in Pakistan in May 2011 as head of the secretive Joint Special Operation Command.
The president said, “Wouldn’t it be nice” if bin Laden had been captured sooner.