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 TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 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 ClintonYang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations Top GOP legislator in California leaves party GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 BrennanKrystal Ball: Yang's MSNBC boycott shows network has 'officially lost the left' Trump predicts 'historic' conclusions from DOJ's watchdog report on 'spying' Trump bemoans 'double standard' in Stone conviction 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."