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

Former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperIntelligence chiefs should be commended, despite Trump's attacks on them Hillicon Valley: House Intel panel will release Russia interviews | T-Mobile, Sprint step up merger push | DHS cyber office hosting webinars on China | Nest warns customers to shore up password security House Intel panel votes to release Russia interview transcripts to Mueller MORE said Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' ACLU says planned national emergency declaration is 'clear abuse of presidential power' O'Rourke says he'd 'absolutely' take down border wall near El Paso if he could 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 ClintonO’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears Exclusive: Biden almost certain to enter 2020 race MORE fan" and an "Obama backer" in an interview that aired Sunday on Fox News when asked about McRaven's past criticism of him.

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."