During an interview with Chris Wallace which aired Sunday, Trump claimed Bin Laden lived “beautifully in Pakistan and what I guess in what they considered a nice mansion, I don’t know, I’ve seen nicer,” during the Fox News interview.
Critiques From Trump
“He’s a Hillary Clinton backer, and an Obama backer, and frankly, wouldn’t it have been nice if we’d have got Osama Bin Laden a lot sooner than that?” President Trump commented on Admiral McRaven.
United States commandos, including members of the U.S. Navy Seals, killed Bin Laden during a May 2011 raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he was living in a mansion near a Pakistani military academy.
“Everybody in Pakistan” knew Bin Laden was there, President Trump stated during the interview. “…they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us,” he stated in explaining his decision to stop $1.3 billion in yearly aid to the country.
The US and Afghanistan have claimed Pakistan of ignoring Islamic extremists and hiding leaders of the Afghan Taliban. Pakistan has always denied those allegations.
Khan And McRaven Respond
Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan responded to President Trump via Twitter, pointing to the 75,000 casualties and a loss of $123 billion in the United States War on Terror. Khan also pointed to the U.S. only providing $20 billion in aid despite Pakistan facing a huge burden since the September 11th terrorist attacks.
No citizen of Pakistan participated in the infamous attacks on the United States, most of the attackers were from Saudi Arabia, a country which the U.S. government considers an ally despite their role in the spread of the extremist Wahhabism Islamic doctrine.
Admiral McRaven did not back down from his previous comments regarding President Trump‘s bombastic rhetoric towards journalists and the media, “…While at times, these external pressures encouraged some within our government to adopt a barricade mentality – hiding information from the public, acting secretly outside the bounds of the law, and encouraging behavior that had an extralegal feel to it – never has the government openly challenged the idea of a free press,” he summarized in a press release.
In response to the President’s most recent criticism, McRaven provided a factual account of his background and statements while speaking to 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.”