Retired Adm. William McRaven, who oversaw the U.S. operation that killed Osama bin Laden, doubled down on Sunday on his criticism of President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE's treatment of the press after the president went after McRaven in an interview with "Fox News Sunday."

Trump dismissed McRaven as a "Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonState polling problematic — again 4 reasons why Trump can't be written off — yet 'Unmasking' Steele dossier source: Was confidentiality ever part of the deal? MORE fan" and an "Obama-backer," and suggested the U.S. took too long to hunt down bin Laden after anchor Chris Wallace noted that the retired admiral has called the president's rhetoric toward the media "the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime."

McRaven told CNN in a statement that he stands by his comments.

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"I stand by my comment that the President's attack on the media is the greatest threat to our democracy in my lifetime," he 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."

McRaven, 63, noted that he did not back former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton or any other candidate in the 2016 election, and that he worked under both former President Obama and former President George W. Bush.

The president routinely derides negative press coverage as "fake news" and has referred to members of the media as the "enemy of the people."

The retired admiral previously criticized the Trump administration over its decision to rescind former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanSenate panel scraps confirmation hearing for controversial Pentagon nominee at last minute Brennan memoir slated for October, says Trump blocked him from accessing records Graham postpones Russia probe subpoena vote as tensions boil over MORE's security clearance. McRaven praised Brennan's integrity and professionalism, and said it would be "an honor" for the Trump White House to revoke his security clearance as well.

"If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken," McRaven wrote in August. "The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be."