Senator John McCain has responded strongly to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's comments on Wednesday that those characterizing the Yemen raid as not successful are doing a "disservice" to a Navy SEAL who lost his life.
In an interview with NBC News, McCain recounted an incident to explain his point that the outcome of the mission doesn't reflect the bravery of those who risk their lives.
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McCain said, "Many years ago, when I was imprisoned in North Vietnam, there was an attempt to rescue the POWs. Unfortunately, the prison had been evacuated, but the brave men who...risked their lives in an effort to rescue us prisoners of war were genuine American heroes."
McCain continued, "Because the mission failed, (it) did not in any way diminish their bravery and courage or willingness to help their fellow Americans who were held captive. Mr. Spicer should know that story."
During a press conference Wednesday, Spicer had said, "I think anybody who undermines the success of that raid owes an apology and [does] disservice to the life of Chief Owens."
Spicer was referring to McCain's statement from Tuesday, which noted, in part, "Every military operation has objectives. And while many of the objectives of the recent raid in Yemen were met, I would not describe any operation that results in the loss of American life as a success."
The raid also claimed the lives of "an eight-year-old girl, 14 al Qaeda militants, and about 30 other civilians," according to Business Insider.