Washington, Nov 19 (IANS) Retired Adm. William McRaven, the man who oversaw the 2011 raid in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden, said that President Donald Trump’s attacks on the news media represent “the greatest threat to democracy”.
McRaven’s remarks on Sunday cams hours after the President dismissed him as a “Hillary Clinton backer” in a Fox News interview.
“I did not back Hillary Clinton or anyone else,” McRaven told CNN on Sunday night.
“I am a fan of President (Barack) 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,” McRaven said.
“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.”
In the Fox News interview, Trump dismissed McRaven and slammed the military for having not killed bin Laden sooner.
In August, McRaven issued a stunning rebuke of Trump in an op-ed published in the Washington Post, writing that through his actions, 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”.