On Sunday, President Donald Trump criticized retired Navy Admiral William H. McRaven, the former chancellor of the University of Texas System, for not capturing Osama bin Laden sooner.
“Wouldn’t it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that, wouldn’t it have been nice?” Trump asked Fox News host Chris Wallace.
McRaven was responsible for overseeing the Joint Special Operations Command that killed bin Laden in May 2011. McRaven later became chancellor in 2015.
On Monday, Trump doubled down on his remark via Twitter.
Of course we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did. I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center. President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars & they never told us he was living there. Fools!..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2018
Several major voices in the GOP expressed their disagreement, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Joe Straus, speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.
I don’t know if Adm. William McRaven shares my political views or not.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 19, 2018
But I do know that few Americans have sacrificed or risked more than he has to protect America & the freedoms we enjoy.
His military career exemplified honor & excellence.
I am grateful for his service.
Having served in Afghanistan with Adm. McRaven, I have personally witnessed his patriotism & love of country. He is an American hero & has always served our country with honor. I’m grateful for his service and sacrifices for our freedom.— George P. Bush (@georgepbush) November 19, 2018
Admiral William McRaven has served our country and the state of Texas with honor, integrity and distinction. I am grateful for his many contributions to our country, and I know no better leader. #txlege— Joe Straus (@SpeakerStraus) November 19, 2018
Former Navy Seal Robert J. O’Neil, who claims to have fired the head shot that killed bin Laden, tweeted:
The mission to get bin Laden was bipartisan. We all wanted to get him as soon as we could.— Robert J. O'Neill (@mchooyah) November 19, 2018
Despite individual support for McRaven, the official GOP Twitter account backed Trump.
Worth noting after recent comments: Retired Adm. William McRaven was reportedly on Hillary Clinton’s short list for Vice President in 2016.— GOP (@GOP) November 19, 2018
He’s been critical of President @realDonaldTrump— even dating back to the 2016 campaign.
He’s hardly a non-political figure.
However, Karen Tumulty, a political columnist at the Washington Post pointed out:
Worth noting: retired Adm. William McRaven was on Trump’s short list for national security adviser. https://t.co/ls4ejz54ip— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) November 19, 2018