President Donald Trump turned to Twitter Thursday morning to attack Sen. John McCain for criticizing a US military raid in Yemen.
"Sen. McCain should not be talking about the success or failure of a mission to the media," Trump tweeted. "Only emboldens the enemy!"
He continued: "He's been losing so long he doesn't know how to win anymore, just look at the mess our country is in — bogged down in conflict all over the place."
Trump then went on to say that Ryan Owens, the US service member who died in the raid, died on a "winning mission."
McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called the raid a "failure" earlier this week. He later walked back his "failure" remark in a statement but continued to challenge the success of the raid.
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"I would not describe any operation that results in the loss of American life as a success," he said.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer also criticized McCain for his comments earlier this week.
"I think anybody who undermines the success of that raid owes an apology ... to the life of Chief Owens," he said in response to a question about McCain's comments.
The raid on Al Qaeda forces in Yemen was Trump's first significant military action as president. It resulted in the deaths of a Navy SEAL, an eight-year-old girl, 14 al Qaeda militants, and about 30 other civilians.
NBC reported that the raid intended to take out Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's leader Qassim Al-Rimi, who survived the raid and later mocked Trump on an audio recording.
The NBC report quotes a senior military official as saying "almost everything went wrong" with the dead-of-night raid where a $70 million MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft suffered a hard landing and then had to be destroyed in place by a US Marine Corps Harrier jet.
Alex Lockie contributed to this report.