Clapper: Trump’s criticism of bin Laden raid represents ‘complete ignorance’

Former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperComey: 'The FBI doesn't spy, the FBI investigates' How I learned to love the witch hunt 10 factors making Russia election interference the most enduring scandal of the Obama era MORE said Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE's attacks against the retired Navy admiral who led the U.S. operation that killed Osama bin Laden was "a slam at the intelligence community."

"What this really is is misplaced criticism of [William] McRaven," Clapper said on "CNN Right Now." 

"It's really a slam at the intelligence community, who was responsible for tracking down Osama bin Laden, and reflects, I think, his complete ignorance about what that took."

Trump dismissed McRaven as a "Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection What the Mueller report tells us about Putin, Russia and Trump's election Steve Bullock puts Citizens United decision at center of presidential push MORE fan" and an "Obama backer" in an interview that aired Sunday on Fox News when asked about McRaven's past criticism of him.
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The president also questioned why it took so long for the U.S. to find bin Laden, who was ultimately killed by Navy SEALs in a 2011 operation in Pakistan.

"Wouldn’t it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that, wouldn’t it have been nice?" Trump said Sunday. 

Trump's comments drew swift backlash, with retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling calling his attack on McRaven "disgusting" and multiple U.S. lawmakers releasing statements to convey their support of the ex-Navy SEAL. 

McRaven responded to the president's comments shortly after by doubling down on his previous criticism of Trump. McRaven said Trump's attack on the media represented "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," he said in a statement, adding that he did not support Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.

The president defended his stance on Monday, tweeting that the U.S. "should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did."