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Trump Criticizes Retired U.S. Navy Admiral Over Bin Laden Raid


Former commander of U.S. Special Operations William McRaven (file photo)

U.S. President Donald Trump has criticized a retired Navy admiral, as he repeated earlier assertions that U.S. military and political leaders erred by not capturing Osama Bin Laden sooner.

Trump on November 19 doubled down on comments he made in a Fox News interview, when he asserted that Admiral William McRaven, a former commander of U.S. Special Operations, was a supporter of Trump's 2016 Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

In a post to Twitter, Trump said that Bin Laden should have been captured much sooner than 2011, when U.S. Navy SEALs killed him at a compound in Pakistan.

"Of course we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did," Trump said.

"I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center," he wrote.

Trump's criticism of McRaven, and other decisions, prompted angry retorts from administration officials of both presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

In his Fox News interview Trump also said he had canceled hundreds of millions of dollars worth of aid to Pakistan because "they don't do anything for us, they don't do a damn thing for us."

That comment drew a sharp response from Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who said his country had suffered 75,000 casualties and lost billions during the U.S.-led war in neighboring Afghanistan.

As part of Trump's effort to resolve the 17-year war in Afghanistan, Washington has escalated pressure on Islamabad, whose assistance the U.S. believes is needed to compel the Taliban to agree to negotiate with the government in Kabul.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
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