Former Navy SEAL who killed bin Laden defends mission after Trump criticism

The former Navy SEAL who reportedly killed Osama bin Laden defended the mission on Monday after President Trump said the U.S. should have killed the al Qaeda leader sooner.

"The mission to get bin Laden was bipartisan," Robert O'Neill tweeted. "We all wanted to get him as soon as we could."

ADVERTISEMENT

In other another post, O'Neill mocked a Twitter user's criticism, saying the mission "could only fly so fast, bro."

Trump has been locked in a war of words with retired Navy Adm. William McRaven in recent days. McRaven, a former Navy SEAL and special operations commander, oversaw the 2011 raid that killed bin Laden.

"ADM McRaven was born to lead this mission," tweeted O'Neill, who's no longer in the military. "I’ll follow him anywhere. If only people heard the real speech he gave the Team...."

In an interview that aired on "Fox News Sunday," Trump dismissed McRaven as a "Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGeorge Takei: US has hit a new low under Trump Democrats slam Puerto Rico governor over 'shameful' comments, back protesters Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE fan" and an "Obama-backer." After Fox News anchor Chris Wallace noted that the retired admiral called the president's rhetoric toward the media "the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime," Trump suggested that the U.S. took too long to hunt down bin Laden.

McRaven said in a statement to CNN on Sunday that he did not back former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

"I did not back Hillary Clinton or anyone else," McRaven said. "I am a fan of President Obama and President George W. Bush, both of whom I worked for. I admire all presidents, regardless of their political party, who uphold the dignity of the office and who use that office to bring the nation together in challenging times."

Trump has faced bipartisan pushback over his criticism of McRaven, with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Monday praising McRaven in a tweet.

"I don’t know if Adm. William McRaven shares my political views or not," Rubio tweeted. "But I do know that few Americans have sacrificed or risked more than he has to protect America & the freedoms we enjoy. His military career exemplified honor & excellence. I am grateful for his service."