Former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday called on President TrumpDonald TrumpStowaway found in landing gear of plane after flight from Guatemala to Miami Kushner looking to Middle East for investors in new firm: report GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE to apologize to retired Adm. William McRaven, saying that Trump is "undermining his position as commander in chief" by attacking him.
"This president owes Adm. McRaven and all of the SEALs involved in that operation an apology for what he’s saying," Panetta said on MSNBC, referring to the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound.
"He’s undermining his position as commander in chief, not only with those that conducted the operation, but with the entire military," Panetta added.
Trump sparked controversy when he said in a recent interview that the U.S. should have killed bin Laden sooner.
"Wouldn’t it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that, wouldn’t it have been nice?" Trump told "Fox News Sunday."
During that interview, Trump also called McRaven, who oversaw the 2011 operation, a "Hillary Clinton fan" and an "Obama-backer."
His comments came in response to questions about McRaven, who has called Trump's attacks against the press "the greatest threat to our democracy in my lifetime."
Trump doubled down on his criticism of McRaven in a tweet on Monday, writing that, "Of course we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did."
Panetta, who was CIA director when the raid was carried out, called it "one of the proudest moments in recent history regarding a military operation."
"This president ought to recognize that it’s that kind of valor and courage that is important in order to protect the security of this country," he added.