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Trump’s comments on bin Laden raid represents complete ignorance: James Clapper

This file photo taken on May 08, 2017 shows former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper preparing to testify before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

Former director of US National Intelligence James Clapper has hit back at President Donald Trump for criticizing a former military commander, describing Trump’s disparaging remarks as a blow to the “intelligence community”.

Clapper on Monday said Trump’s criticism of retired Navy admiral William McRaven, who led the US operation that killed Osama bin Laden, was "a slam at the intelligence community".

In an interview that aired on Sunday on Fox News Channel, Trump had dismissed McRaven, a vocal Trump critic, as a backer and fan of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

He then criticized the intelligence community for taking a long time – almost ten years -- after occupying Afghanistan to find bin Laden, who was reportedly killed by Navy SEALs in a 2011 operation in Pakistan.

McRaven “is a Hilary Clinton backer and an Obama-backer, and frankly ... wouldn't it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that? Wouldn't it have been nice,” Trump asked Fox News' Chris Wallace after the host mention Raven.

"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," Clapper said in defense  on CNN Right Now, adding, "What this really is is misplaced criticism of McRaven."  

McRaven is a fierce critic of Trump who has attacked him on his policies.

In August, McRaven issued an op-ed published in the Washington Post, rebuking Trump for his divisive policies.

Trump has "embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation," he wrote.

He responded to the president's recent remarks, saying Trump's attack on the media represented "the greatest threat to our democracy in my lifetime."

Former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday called on President Trump to apologize to McRaven, saying that Trump is "undermining his position as commander in chief" by attacking him. 

Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling called Trump's attack on McRaven as "disgusting" while multiple US lawmakers released statements in support of the ex-Navy SEAL. 

Meanwhile, some scholar says the whole bin Laden drama was an “elaborate charade” by US. 

Bin Laden died in 2001 in Afghanistan, not in 2011 in Pakistan, according to James Henry Fetzer, who is an American scholar and a journalist with Veterans Truth Network and a retired professor in Madison, Wisconsin.

“It is pathetic. But the American government has been reduced to nothing but to lying to the American people, fabricating cases.” Fetzer said in an interview with Press TV back in 2015.

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