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

Former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperSenate Intel leaders ask judge not to jail former aide amid leak investigation Mueller's findings don't matter FBI email chain may provide most damning evidence of FISA abuses yet MORE said Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpReturn hope to the Middle East by returning to the Iran Deal Government shutdowns tend to increase government spending 'Full Frontal' gives six-bedroom house to group that works with detained immigrants 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 ClintonChelsea Clinton working on new children’s book about endangered animals GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander won't seek reelection GOP rep says there was a double standard in Flynn, Clinton probes 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."