Osama Bin Laden hunter slams Trump behavior as 'greatest threat to our democracy'

Retired Navy Adm. William McRaven lashed out at Donald Trump again Sunday, saying his behavior is the “greatest threat to our democracy in my lifetime” after the president criticized McRaven for failing to bring Osama bin Laden to justice sooner.

Trump disdainfully dismissed earlier criticism from McRaven, who oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL mission that killed bin Laden, when Chris Wallace questioned him about it in an interview that aired earlier in the day on “Fox News Sunday.”

“Hillary Clinton fan,” Trump snapped, cutting off Wallace. “He’s a Hillary Clinton backer and an Obama-backer, and frankly ... wouldn’t it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that?”

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2011 Osama bin Laden death
U.S. President Barack Obama stands after addressing the nation on TV from the East Room of the White House to make a televised statement May 1, 2011 in Washington, DC. Bin Laden has been killed near Islamabad, Pakistan almost a decade after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and his body is in possession of the United States. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images)
In this handout image provided by The White House, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of the national security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House May 1, 2011 in Washington, DC. Obama later announced that the United States had killed Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)
A newspaper vendor displays papers heralding the death of Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011 in New York City. President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a late night address to the nation from the White House in Washington on May 1. The mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks was killed in an American military operation at a compound in Pakistan. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
US Marines of Regiment Combat Team 1 (RCT 1) watch TV as President Barack Obama announces the death of Osama Bin Laden, at Camp Dwyer in Helman Province, on May 2, 2011. US President Barack Obama said on May 1, 2011 that justice had been done after the September 11, 2001 attacks with the death of Osama bin Laden, but warned that Al-Qaeda will still try to attack the US. (Photo by Bay Ismoyo via AFP/Getty Images)
People celebrate in Times Square after the death of accused 9-11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was announced by U.S. President Barack Obama May 2, 2011 in New York City. Bin Laden was killed in an operation by U.S. Navy Seals in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Newspapers left by visitors grace the fence overlooking the crash site of Flight 93 following the announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan May 2, 2011 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Nearly 10 years after September 11, 2001 construction is underway to erect a formal memorial at the crash site. Last night U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States had killed the most-wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden in an operation led by U.S. Special Forces in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
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An angry McRaven responded on 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 use that office to bring the nation together.”

He added that he stood by his comments in a speech early last year at the University of Texas in Austin, noting Sunday 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.”

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Navy Admiral William McRaven
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Navy Admiral William McRaven
UNITED STATES â MARCH 6: Navy Adm. William McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, testifies during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on 'The U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY2013 and the Future Years Defense Program' on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis (L) and Navy Admiral William McRaven (R) testify at the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington March 5, 2013 in regard to the Defense Authorization Request for fiscal year 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: (L-R) Lance Boxer, USO CEO, aviation survival technician second class Randy Haba, and admiral William McRaven attend 52nd USO Armed Forces Gala & Gold Medal Dinner at Marriott Marquis Times Square on December 11, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for USO of Metropolitan New York)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: United States Navy Vice Admiral William McRaven testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill June 28, 2011 in Washington, DC. Credited for organizing and executing Operation Neptune's Spear, the special ops raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, McRaven has been nominated to command the United State Special Operations Command. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama greets Brigadier General Jeffrey Colt (L) as Admiral William McRaven looks on as he arrives to speak to troops at Fort Campbell in Kentucky May 6, 2011. Obama is scheduled to speak to several military units that have recently returned from duty in Afghanistan. Also during his visit, Obama privately thanked some members of the elite special forces team involved in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY SOCIETY)
WASHINGTON, DC - June 28: Vice Adm. William H. McRaven, nominated to be admiral and commander, U.S. Special Operations Command; during the Senate Armed Services hearing on his nomination. (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)
US First Lady Michelle Obama (R) waves from the gallery of the US House of Representatives prior to US President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on January 24, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. From left are: Admiral William McRaven; Jackie Bray; Michelle Obama; US astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of shot US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords; Dr. Jill Biden, wife of US Vice President Joe Biden; and Ashleigh Berg. AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis (R) and Navy Admiral William McRaven (L) confer before testifying at the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington March 5, 2013, with regards to the Defense Authorization Request for fiscal year 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS BUSINESS)
Admiral William McRaven, Commander of the US Special Operations Command, speaks the panel 'Counterterrorism in 2025: What kind of fighting force will be required' during the Reagan National Defense Forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on November 16, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Allen (R) waits to testify, as he sits next to Navy Vice Admiral William McRaven (C) and Army General James Thurman (L), before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to serve as the next commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, on Capitol Hill in Washington June 28, 2011. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY)
UNITED STATES ? MARCH 6: Navy Adm. William McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, testifies during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on 'The U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY2013 and the Future Years Defense Program' on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Admiral William McRaven (2nd L), commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), is seated in the First Lady's box with US First Lady Michelle Obama (R) as US President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress January 24, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Admiral William McRaven discusses special operations and the CIA during a daylong symposium 'The President's Daily Brief' that gave insight into the delivery of intelligence to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960's. The CIA today declassified 2,500 documents from the Kennedy and Johnson years. (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images)
U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis (front L) and Navy Admiral William McRaven (front R) await to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington March 5, 2013 in regard to the Defense Authorization Request for fiscal year 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS)
Admiral William McRaven, who took over as University of Texas System Chancellor after a 37-year military career, speaks with editor Evan Smith at a Texas Tribune forum. McRaven is best known as the operation commander in the 2011 U.S. raid that captured and killed Osama Bin Laden. (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 14: Bono, Tina Brown and Admiral William McRaven attend the Newsweek & The Daily Beast 2012 Hero Summit at the United States Institute of Peace on November 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images)
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In an interview on CNN Sunday, retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling characterized McRaven as an “unbelievable patriot” and a “true servant” of the Constitution.

Asked about Trump’s comments on McRaven, Hertling responded: “Having someone like the president of the United States, a man that holds an office that’s supposed to represent all people and who says he supports the military, to just dismiss this great American hero as a guy who was a Hillary Clinton lover — which is patently not true — is just really disgusting. But it’s just another day in the life of the Trump administration I guess.”

Hertling also slammed Trump’s failure to honor veterans at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day.

“It’s a factor of leadership,” he said. “Leaders know what to do, where to be, what things to say. And in all three of those things, I think the president is currently a failure.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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